(received August 2010)


Date:    Mon, 9 Aug 2010 22:31:14 -0400

From:    "Mendelsohn, Adam D" <MendelsohnA@COFC.EDU>

Subject: Seeking readings for "Jewish History Through Biography" course


From: Aviva Ben-Ur []

Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 10:24 PM

Subject: seeking readings for "Jewish History Through Biography" course



I am teaching a new course "Jewish History Through Biography," which considers major trends and changes in Jewish history through the experiences of the individual. I would appreciate titles of memoirs, autobiographies, and readable biographies (suitable for Anglophone undergraduates) from antiquity to the present day. So far I have:


Josephus, _Vita_ (1st century; can someone point me to the best translation?)


Memoir of Obadiah the Proselyte (11th-12th centuries)


Yehudah Halevi (11th-12th century; Hillel Halkin's new biography)


Isaac Abravanel, ?Introduction to the Former Prophets? (15th century)


Uriel da Costa, "Specimen of a Human Life" (16th-17th centuries)


Israel ba'al Shem Tov (can readers point me to a readable assembly of

biographical legends?)


Solomon Maimon, autobiography (18th century)


Moses Montefiore (18th-19th century, can anyone recommend something

less dense than Abigail Green's new biography?)


Palliere, _The Unknown Sanctuary_ (20th century)


Robert and Michel Meeropol, _We Are Your Sons_ (20th century)


Tony Judt, _Revolutionaries_. (1960s)


I am especially interested in non-modern, first-person narratives, but all suggestions are welcome.


Thank you in advance for your assistance. Sincerely,


Aviva Ben-Ur

University of Massachusetts Amherst


1. How about the memoirs of Glikl of Hameln?


Thank you for your response. I have taught this memoir so often I was hoping to find an alternative. But you are right, I do need women's voices represented.


Best wishes,




2. May I recommend the enchanting autobiography of Yehuda Arie Modena. See: Mark R. Cohen, The Autobiography of a 17th Century Venetian Rabbi: Leon Modena (I don't remember details).


Also a travelogue by Rabbi Moshe Basola, a most interesting person (I wrote my M.A. thesis about him), with a lot of details. See:


Abraham David, In Zion and Jerusalem, The Itinerary of Rabbi Moses Basola (1521-1523), C.G. Foundation Jerusalem Project of the Martin Szusz Dedpartment of Land of Israel Studies of Bar-Ilan University, Jerusalem 1999.


3. Leon Modena's Autobiography (16th-17th century Italy) would fit what you are looking for....


Thank you for this suggestion. I remember loving his autobiography when I read it in graduate school.


4. I wanted to suggest Leon Modena's autobiography (trans. by Mark Cohen) -- since he provides some rather unique descriptions of life in early modern Italy, personally and communally.  His important Historia de' riti hebraici, where he serves as a translator of Jewish life for non-Jews, especially on the eve of English resettlement, also makes him an interesting figure for more general intellectual history. 


Respectfully,  I also wanted to ask a question in return: Could I see a final version of your syllabus?  This sounds like a wonderful course and I'd very much like to read the texts that you ultimately select.  If Boston was closer to Amherst, I'd try to enroll in the course and make the commute.


5. Consider any of these new books on the lives of Jewish women from Ben Yehuda Press for your class.

Ben Yehuda Press is proud to present these four books -- two of them novels, two autobiographical works-- featuring strong women. Our heroines lived through the events of the past hundred years, from the Russian Revolution to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Each is extraordinary in her own right: a dedicated atheist, an Orthodox Jew, a life-long activist and a young hard-scrabble survivor in tragicomic circumstances. What these very different women have in common is a well-told tale.

*Rifka Rosenwein*. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, journalist Rifka Rosenwein chronicled her suburban, soccer-mom life for seven years in a column in the back of /The Jewish Week/.

In 2001, Rifka's world was changed forever: first, like the rest of us, by the events of September 11th; and then, in a more personal blow, by a diagnosis of cancer. She died in 2003 at the age of 42.

Even when she discusses her life as being lived on "cancer time," her columns are a death-defying celebration of life. Reading her work, you can see your own friends, your parents, your children, your co-workers, your spouse... and yourself.

/*Life in the Present Tense: Reflections on Faith and Family* by Rifka Rosenwein.

*Hanne Goldschmidt*. Nicolette Maleckar draws upon her experiences in post-war Berlin in telling the story of Hanne, a brave-hearted waif who seeks to begin her life in the rubble of a shattered world.

Hanne's story is a delightful rendering of the first blush of love in an impossible time. Her tale has been praised by West Virgina Public Radio for the "fairy-tale quality of the characters."

/*The Lilac Tree: An Enchanting Novel of Love in the Ruins of Berlin, 1945* by Nicolette Maleckar.

*Bessie Sainer*. Bessie's "career" is full of hazards. At the age of twelve, she is exiled to Siberia because of her brothers' anti-czarist activi ties. At twenty-five, she loses her husband and baby girl to the ravages of civil war in revolutionary Russia.

At forty, she faces down Nazi hoodlums as she tries to disrupt a pro-Hitler rally in Madison Square Garden. At fifty-five, she is driven underground by McCarthyite persecution. At sixty-two, she squares off against racists in the South—and nearly loses the loyalty of her beloved daughter.

At eighty-eight, she is still making trouble and still making jokes.

A profoundly optimistic novel about a remarkable heroine—rebel, lover, mother, grandmother, Jew, and an extraordinary human being.

/*Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution* by Lawrence Bush.

*Dorothy Epstein*. Growing up in the immigrant communities of New York, Dorothy Epstein entered the workforce during the worst part of the Depression. The child of activists herself, Dorothy had been loathe to follow in their overburdened, impoverished footsteps.

However, fate intervened, and Dorothy soon became radicalized. Thereafter, she spent most of her life working for the advancement of labor unions and human rights. She died in 2006 at the age of 92.

*A Song of Social Significance: Memoirs of an Activist *by Dorothy Epstein.

 [Ben Yehuda Press home <>] [Book Catalog <>] [Blog <>] [Vid


6. Re: your "Jewish History Through Biography" course-- for America's (and American Jewry's) response to the Holocaist, I would recommend my book, Blowing the Whistle on Genocide: Josiah E. DuBois, Jr. and the Struggle for a U.S. Response to the Holocaust (Purdue University Press).  It's not a conventional biography, but it does focus on the experiences of a Treasury Department official who was at the heart of the battle over U.S. refugee policy, using contemporaneous and postwar interviews with him and his colleagues to piece together his story in order to understand the broader issues at stake.


7. Gluckl of Hameln was just on my mind, but this link may also be helpful:


8. Here are some recommendations of the top of my head:

Founder of Hasidism by Moshe Rosman (Baal Shem Tov)

Tormented Master by Arthur Green (Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav)

Gershom Scholem: Kabbalah and Counter-history by David Biale

Hope that helps.


9. I just happened upon your post to the H-Judaic list. Great idea for a class!

I'd like to mention the following, rather off the top of my head, especially as I'd love to see more women's lives on the reading list (I've included links to most of these):

Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln (I know it's obvious, but I think it's pretty essential, and so readable.)

Edith B. Gelles, The Letters of Abigaill Levy Franks, 1733-1748 (I haven't read this, but they are first-person letters by a Jewish woman living in colonial America.)

Nathaniel Deutsch, The Maiden of Ludmir: A Jewish Holy Woman and Her World (I have not read this but have wanted to for some time. Deutsch tries to piece together a biography from various sources on this legendary figure, known as the only woman to serve as a Hasidic rebbe in early 19th-century eastern Europe.)

Pauline Wengeroff, Memoirs of a Grandmother: Scenes from the Cultural History of the Jews of Russia in the Nineteenth Century, Volume One (Jay uses excerpts from this in one of his classes.)

Rachel Calof, Rachel Calof's Story: Jewish Homesteader on the Northern Plains (A young Jewish woman from eastern Europe travels to the U.S. on her own, in the late 19th century, marries, and lives a hard -- sometimes harrowing -- life in the upper midwest. A testimony to a little-known facet of Jewish life in the U.S. It's a relatively quick read. I have a copy of this if you'd like to look at it.)

Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness (Oz isn't a woman, of course, but his portrayal of his mother really stands out, and Oz's depiction of life in Israel as it struggled to survive early on is incredibly vivid.)

Paula S. Fass, Inheriting the Holocaust: A Second-generation Memoir (I haven't read it, but I think one cannot avoid at least one Holocaust-related narrative. I came across this book on Amazon and mention it because Fass is a historian and addresses issues of memory and absence; she also responds to the so-called Jewish revival in modern Poland. It is rare to find a good discussion of the experiences of survivors' children and grandchildren that's written by a historian. I'm putting this on my own wish list.)


10. Hi, You didn't list Gluckel of Hameln, the only premodern autobiography of a woman, originally written in Yiddish.  It's great -- very rich, humorous.


11.  Sloan, Dolores. The Sephardic Jews of Spain and Portugal: Survival of an Imperiled Culture in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries.  Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland & Company, 2009.

     There is a chapter on each of the following:

     Isaac Abravanel (Ch. 2)

     Abraham Zacuto (Ch. 3)

     Luís de Santángel (Ch. 4)

     Gracia Nasi (Ch. 5)

For Abraham Zacuto, I recommend also:  Cantera Burgos, Francisco. Abraham Zacut: Sigo XV.  Madrid: M. Aguilar, 1935.


12. Gluckel of Hameln recently publ. by JPS


13. You could hardly do better than using Yerushalmi's biography of Isaac Cordozo or Gluckl of Hameln's 17th century autobiography or Natalie Davis on Gluckl. Also important would be Stanislawski's book Autobiographical Jews (and the many references there). Also: Amos Elon on Herzl ; Yerushalmi on Freud; Sander Gilman on Kafka ; A Tale of Light and Darkness by Amos Oz.  Oh, also, for ancient: Boyarin on Paul.


14. The Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln would be a good addition to your list. This classic provides an excellent window onto the period (late 17th century German-speaking lands) from the perspective of a successful businesswoman and family leader. The book is readily available at  low cost. You would be adding a woman to your list, which might be nice, as well, and her strong role serves to surprise and interest students.


15. Your course on Jewish History through Biography sounds very interesting. I'd be very pleased if you could share with me a bibliography and/or syllabus when you have one available.

For additional material I immediately thought of The (family) Chronicle of Ahimaaz (Megillat Ahimaaz). For beginners here's the webpage from Wikipedia

I think Saltzman is the "accepted" translation but there might be more updated material on this work, from early medieval southern Italy. It's been compared to the Chronicle of Ovadiah Ha-Ger.

…I see you are geting a lot of responses on H-Judaic. I'm looking forward to seeing what you include in your syllabus.

About Megillat Ahimaaz and Ovadiah Ha-Ger, the latter was discussed and edited in the Hebrew University MA thesis (stencil)  of Tzvi Malachi (who is now already retired). I looked at it while here in Jerusalem as it has an extensive discussion of the

concept of Megillah as Chronicle (not necessarily in scroll form). Looking forward to staying in touch about your very interesting course.

Here's the record from the National Library Catalogue. I now see that this is a Tel Aviv U MA Thesis in which Malachi published

Megillat Ovadiah HaGer but also discussed other such biographical, chronicle type "megillot".

מלאכי, צבי

Title       מגילת עבדיה הגר

Filing Title         מגלת עובדיה הגר

Imprint             תל אביב : [חמו"ל], תשכ"ו.

Filing Place       תל אביב

Descr.                1 כרך.

Dissertn.           עבודת גמר (מ.א.)--אוניברסיטת תל אביב, תשכ"ו.

  מגילת עבדיה הגר

     תל אביב : [חמו"ל], תשכ"ו.

    1 כרך.  

Location          Collection       Item status     Due date        Description    OPAC note

 עג מ 215         Judaica Reading Room         


16. Your list has no women on it. I'm a sociologist and not an historian but  have you considered Gluckel, Dona Gracia, Golda Meir, Rosa Luxemborg, Emma Goldman, Emma Lazarus, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Ruth Bader Ginzburg, Henrietta Szold or Lillian Wald?



Glickl I have taught too many times, but do you have any memoirs or biographies you'd like to recommend for the others?



There is an excellent biography of Emma Lazarus written by Esther Schor, see also,The Woman Who Defied Kings: The Life and Times of Dona Gracia, by Andree Brooks. There is also a recently written, award winning biography of Marie Syrkin by Carole Kessner. Paula Hyman edited and introduced a book about Puah Rakowsky  called "My Life a a Radical Jewish Woman - Memoirs of a Zionist Feminist in Poland. I hope that these few suggestions are helpful.


17. For the first half of 20th century Italy:  Augusto Segre, MEMORIES OF JEWISH LIFE: FROM ITALY TO JERUSALEM, 1918-1960.  University of Nebraska Press….I think there's nothing like it for 20th century Italian Jewry.  It's about "working class" Italian Jews, and most books are about upper middle class Italian Jews.  Segre was a gifted narrator.


18. I saw your email through H-Judaic and thought I'd lend a suggestion or two.

As you may know, there have been two quite important studies that were recently published on Jewish autobiography, which will be helpful in pointing you towards primary sources:

1. Marcus Moseley, _Being For Myself Alone: Origins of Jewish Autobiography_ (2005)

2. Michael Stanislwaski, _Autobiographical Jews: Essays in Jewish Self-Fashioning_ (2004)

and the somewhat older, but useful guide to maskilic autobiography:

3. Alan Mintz, _"Banished From Their Father's Table": Loss of Faith and Hebrew Autobiography_ (1989)

Here are some other pre-modern (and 19th century) memoirs  and diaries that may be of aid:

1. Glikl von Hameln (indispensable as a source of women's writing)

2. The Autobiography of a Seventeenth-Century Venetian Rabbi [Paperback], Leone Modena (Author), Mark R. Cohen (Editor)

3. My Life as a Radical Jewish Woman: Memoirs of a Zionist Feminist in Poland by Puah Rakovska, Paula E. Hyman, and Barbara Harshav

4. A Valley of Vision: The Heavenly Journey of Abraham Ben Hananiah Yagel [Hardcover]

5. Jewish Life in Germany: Memoirs from Three Centuries (The Modern Jewish Experience) by Monika Richarz

David B. Ruderman (Author)

6. The Plough Woman: Records of the Pioneer Women of Palestine — A Critical Edition

Mark A. Raider

7. The Jews of Prague in the 16th-18th century produced any number of "family scrolls" that offer biographical insight.  One example is Alexander Marx, 'A Seventeenth Century Autobiography"  JQR, ns VIII (1917-1918), or the work done by Rachel Greenblatt in her recent dissertation, "A Community's Memory'

8. The memoirs of Ber of Bolechow (18th century Poland)


Hope that helps as a start.


19. Bio and AutoBio Suggestions

On the political/secular movements in Jewish history:

I use "My Life as a Radical Jewish Woman" -- great march through the

various Jewish-political forms (Zionism, Bund, Yiddishists, Hebrew

revival) through the life of a dynamic educator and feminist.

Some of the latest Golda Meir biography is assignable too on the

experience of Aliyah.

I also use selections, the first few chapters, from My Life in Stalinist Russia

On contemporary Yiddish-speaking communities, everybody loves Boychiks

in the Hood, still in print.

For more personal-religious pieces:

Foreskin's Lament by Shalom Auslander is a very funny memoir about

orthodox judaism and  falling away from it.

Danya Ruttenberg's Surprised by God is, i've heard, a very good

account of her moving from secular to becoming a masorti rabbi.


20. Other biographies you might use are the memoirs of Gluckel of Hamlin, Paula Hyman’s book on Puah Rakovsky: Title: My life as a radical Jewish woman : memoirs of a Zionist feminist in Poland / Puah Rakovsky ; edited and with an introduction by Paula E. Hyman ; translated from the Yiddish by Barbara Harshav with Paula E. Hyman.  Published: Bloomington ; Indianapolis : Indiana University Press, c2002.

Description: xi, 204 p. : map ; 24 cm.


21. I am presently working on the translation a memoir from the original Yiddish into English for the grandchildren of a Jew born in Poland, who served 3 years in the Czar's pre WWI army, then during WWI, served 4 years in the Russian army, during which time he was stationed first in Finland, then in Hungary in a prisoner of war camp, from which he escaped. From there, the memoir goes on to speak of the years of run-away inflation in Poland and the troubles they caused the Polish Jews.  The author attempted aliyah  to then-Palestine in 1924, but could not make a go of it, so he immigrated to the US. That is the first half of the memoir (and as far as I've gotten to date.) This memoir was not written by a literary genius.  It meanders; it has inexplicable omissions; and it bounces from one topic to the next.  Yet it has an immediacy that is not available in official historical writings.

  I am doing this not as an academic project, but for the grand-children of this (obviously, now-dead) author.  If you think you may be interested in seeing this manuspcript when it is finished, (and use it judiciously for your course), I will be happy to tell the commissioner of this memoir of your interest.


22. I saw your request on the listserv.  I am not an academic, but I found this

book interesting and thought your students might like it too:






by Pauline Wengeroff (Henny Wenkert & Bernard Dov Cooperman, eds.)

Studies and Texts in Jewish History and Culture, The Joseph and Rebecca

Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies, University of Maryland, no. 9

Memoir (translated from the German) of a Jewish woman in 19th-century

Russia, with scholarly introduction and analysis.

Year: 2000

Pages: 322




23. Have you considered Art Green's The Tormented Master, on Rabbi Nachman, or portions of Scholem's magisterial biography of Shabtai Sevi?


24. You might want to consider some of the following works for your course.

Awakening lives: Autobiographies of Jewish Youth in Poland before the Holocaust. Translated by Jeffrey Shandler. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.

My future is in America: Autobiographies of Eastern European Jewish Immigrants. Edited and translated by Jocelyn Cohen and Daniel Soyer. New York: New York University Press, 2006.

Taking Root: Narratives of Jewish women in Latin America.  Edited by Marjorie Agosin.  Athens: Ohio University Press, 2002.

Canetti, Elias.  The tongue set free: remembrance of a European childhood. Translated from the German by Joachim Neugroschel. New York: Continuum, 1983.

Celemenski, Jacob. Elegy for My People: Memoirs of an Underground Courier of the Jewish Labor Bund in Nazi-occupied Poland 1939-45. Translated from the Yiddish. Melbourne: Jacob Celemenski Memorial Trust, 2000.

Etkes, Immanuel. The Besht: magician, mystic, and leader. Translated by Saadya Sternberg. Waltham, Mass.: Brandeis University Press ; Hanover :  University Press of New England, c2005.

Glueckel, of Hameln. The Life of Glueckel of Hameln. Translated and edited by Beth-Zion Abrahams. Philadephia: Jewish Publication Society, 2010.  [Republication].

Rakovska, Puah. My Life as a Radical Jewish Woman: Memoirs of a Zionist Feminist in Poland. Edited and with an introduction by Paula E. Hyman ; translated from the Yiddish by Barbara Harshav with Paula E. Hyman. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.

Spitzer, Leo. Hotel Bolivia: the Culture of Memory in a Refuge from Nazism. New York: Hill and Wang, 1998.

Yashar, Mosheh Meir. The Chafetz Chaim: the life and works of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan of Radin. Translated from Hebrew by Charles Wengrov. Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah, 1997. 2nd rev. ed.


Also of interest:

Moseley, Marcus. Being for Myself Alone: Origins of Jewish Autobiography. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006.


Your course sounds fascinating!


25. I neglected to mention Vivian Gornick's extraordinary memoir Fierce Attachments in my posting yesterday.  I used it in a class, and students responded well to it. 

Gornick, Vivian.  Fierce Attachments: a Memoir.  New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2005.  Originally published: 1987.

There has been a heated discussion around this text, or rather, Gornick's own comments about how some of the scenes are "composed."  Below is Gornick's response to her critics and her reflections on the nature of the memoir.


26…. biography of the Soviet Jewish writer and journalist Ilya Ehrenburg.

The book is called Tangled Loyalties, the Life and Times of Ilya Ehrenburg.

It is available in paperback from the Univ of Alabama Press.

Yale Univ Press is also about to start publishing volumes in a series called Jewish Lives.  these will all be concise biographies of famous Jews in history.

the initial volume is about Sarah Bernhart and will be out this fall.

…volume about Leon Trotsky will come out next fall.


27. I just saw the h-net posting regarding your course examining Jewish history through biography.  This course sounds very compelling, as it resembles a course that I have offered several times: Race, Religion, and Ideology in Twentieth-Century American Autobiography.  Have you taught your course before?  It is listed in Jewish studies, in history, or elsewhere?  Do you have a syllabus that you would feel comfortable sharing with me?


28.  biography of Mordecai Kaplan which was published some years ago but even more important for a course in biography is the book of selections from Kaplan's Diary. He was a compulsive diariest [ 27 volumes ] the books contains selected portions from 1913-1934. It is called " communings of the Spirit- The Journals of Mordecai M. Kaplan" and is set up use by students and scholars.


29. Numerous essays and works by Elie Wiesel may fit the bill here: they are by and large very readable and accessible to undergrads, although you could argue that they are closer to literary profiles than they are to strict biographies.  Some of his novels can also be considered semi-autobiographical.

Maimon's autobiography is one of my favorites.  I am glad that it is on your list.


Also, Spinoza does not indulge in autobiographical reflection, but Nadler's biography does an excellent job of painting a nuanced portrait of the thinker and the Jewish community from which he emerged.


30. The Memoirs of Glückel of Hameln:  Really interesting autobiography by a 17th-century Jewish woman.  I have used it in a couple of different courses, with good success.

André Aciman, Out of Egypt

Elizabeth Ehrlich, Miriam's Kitchen

Ariel Dorfman, Heading South, Looking North: A Bilingual Journey

And an anthology that will give you ideas for American authors:  Writing Our Lives: Autobiographies of American Jews, 1890-1990, ed. Steven J. Rubin

I would be interested in the list of books you accumulate, if you don't mind sharing.


31. I would like to suggest. Glückel of Hameln. A great book describing the Jewish life in the Middle ages. Also it has two other advantages. It is by a women and also it describes the average life of a Jewish women, and not the life of a famous person.


32. I saw your post on H-Judaic. very exciting. I am working on a course on medieval and early-modern Jewish autobiography. I will send you the reading list as it is finalized. I have a few sources that i think you may find useful. which text are you using for da Costa?


33. With regard to your question to H-Judaic mailing list: You may want to consider the biographies of Leone Modena (_The Autobiography of a Seventeenth Century Venetian Rabbi_) and the _Memiors of Glukl of Hamelin_.  Both are interesting and readable autobiographical accounts of interesting Jews readily available in English.  There have also been a spate of very recent biographies of Maimonides. 


34. You'll want to include works by women, and here are two that I have used =


Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln (17th century)

My Life as a Radical Jewish Woman: Memoirs of a Zionist Feminist in

Poland (Puah Rakovsky, 1865-1955)

I haven't used this book, but it is excellent: In My Mother's House: A Daughter's Story, by Kim Chernin (focuses on Rose Chernin, Russian immigrant and Old Left activist, U.S. 1940s-1970s)


35. The earliest Jewish memoir would be the biblical Book of Nehemiah. In addition, (sometimes lengthy) sections of the prophetic books are written in the

first-person, some of which deal to some extent with the biography and personal

experience of the prophet (e.g., Hosea, Jeremiah, Ezekiel). Of course, in all of

these cases biblicists are not in agreement whether these first-person passages

actually are to be attributed to the putative authors or to later, anonymous

tradents [One who is responsible for preserving and handing on the oral tradition, such as a teacher] writing in their names.

I would suggest starting with the standard dictionaries/encyclopedias: EJ, Anchor Bible Dictionary, New Interpreters' Dictionary of the Bible, Dictionary of the Old Testament Historical Books. From there I'd move on to checking out commentaries on (Ezra-)Nehemiah and histories of ancient/biblical Israel.

Among other resources, I'd also have a look at:

David Clines, "The Nehemiah Memoir: The Perils of Autobiography," in: What Does Eve Do to Help? and other Readerly Questions to the Old Testament, ed. D. Clines (JSOTSup 94; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990) 124-161.

J. L. Wright, Rebuilding Identity: The Nehemiah Memoir and Its Earliest Readers (BZAW 348; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2004).

Reinhard Kratz, Die Komposition der erzählenden Bücher des Alten Testaments (UTB 2157; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000) 68-74 [also translated into English 2005].

H. G. M. Williamson, Studies in Persian Period History and Historiography (FAT 38; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004) 273-276.


36. The one autobiography my students constantly fall in love with is of Jacob Marateck, Samurai of Vishogrod. It is out of print and they have to buy it online, but after reading it, nobody ever complains. …We do not have that many autobiographies by working-class Jews from the Russian empire, so I was thrilled to find this one.


37. Here are some suggestions:

Cohen, Martin. The Martyr Luis de Carvajal: a Secret Jew in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2001).

Davis, Natalie Z. "Glikl Bas Judah Leib. Arguing with God." Women on the Margins. Three Seventeenth-century lives. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995).

Yerushalmi, Yosef H. From Spanish Court to Italian Ghetto. Isaac =

Cardoso. A Study in Seventeenth-Century Marranism and Jewish =

Apologetics. (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1971).


38. Saul Friedlander, "When Memory Comes" (Univ. of Wisconsin)


39. Regarding readings for a course on Jewish history through biography, I would hope that women would not be excluded from the narrative. True, they are harder to find for "non-modern first-person narratives" but if the subject does not to have to have been famous in her lifetime, one great example is the *Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln*, which has a lot to say about Jewish life in Northern Europe in the late 1600s through early 1700s.

For a prominent Jewish woman of the past, there are two biographies out there of Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi. Although the newer one is written by a nonacademic author, it actually provides a fuller and more nuanced picture of Jewish life during Inquisition-era Portugal and Italy than the classic Cecil Roth account.


…I am glad I could be of some help. If you are still seeking suggestions, from my own specialty, American Jewish History, there is I Came A Stranger: The Story of a Hull House Girl," which recounts the story of an immigrant Jewish woman in late nineteenth and early-twentieth century Chicago (though to be fair, the author's contact with Hull House may have been atypical).


40. You may wish to consider Philo's first-person account of his embassy to the Roman emperor Gaius Caligula after the violent uprising against the Jews in Alexandria, Egypt, in 38 C.E. (sometimes called "the first pogrom").  Philo describes the circumstances preceding the uprising, including the rise of Caligula; the uprising itself; a subsequent threat to install a statue in the Jerusalem Temple; and the meeting between Philo's delegation and Caligula.  Most of the emphasis is on the events, but Philo also includes some first-person observations.  Probably the most accessible edition is the Loeb Classical Library translation of Philo (volume 10 in that set).

41. Saul Friedlander, "When Memory Comes" (Univ. of Wisconsin)


42. The only published pre-modern Jewish woman's biography is that of Glikl of Hameln, available in two English translations (partial, edited); a good chunck of it also appears with an introduction by Paula Hyman in a reader I'm sure you've seen (ed. Lawrence Fine? I am blanking).  There is a cross-over biography of Gracia Nasi to consider.


43. I have something that works really well in a class: …the memoir…called Dear Lizzie: Memoir of a Jewish Immigrant Woman, by Leona Tamarkin (edited by Elizabeth Reis).  I published it with Xlibris, but you can get it on Amazon.

I've assigned it every year for about 10 years in a U.S. Women's History class…and my students love it.  It's only 100 pages, which is perfect for a week's reading, and it's a very quick read.  Leona was born in Brest-Litovsk and was a refugee during WWI, finally arriving in the U.S. in 1920 at age 15.  The memoir talks about her harrowing childhood experiences and also her journey here, life working in various factories, her explorations of NY and St. Louis, her marriage, etc. 

Some of my friends/colleagues have also used it quite successfully in their own classes. One uses it regularly in an immigrant Literature class; another uses it for a class about women's memoirs.

Leona wrote in a very clear and matter-of-fact style; she remembered so much of what students can relate to (what it felt like to have her parents divorce, for example; what it felt like to wet the bed, etc.), no matter their background.  Invariably, students come to class saying, "I'm never going to complain about anything ever again."


44. Another possible reading might be the autobiography My Life by Golda



45. For the projected course in Jewish History through Biography may I …suggest the detailed memoir by Pauline Wengeroff? The book was something of a bestseller in the early 20th century, going through several German-language editions and adding a second volume. Sections of the book appeared in English in various venues and Dr. Henny Wenkart prepared a complete translation … edited into a format  friendly for classroom use and published as "Rememberings. The World of a Russian-Jewish Woman in the Nineteenth Century" (University Press of Maryland, 2000)….The historical and analytical afterword, I have been told by colleagues, students found useful. I will be glad to arrange for an examination copy to be sent to anyone who wants to consider the book for classroom use. Just let me know.

For an evaluation of the memoir as a source see Judith Baskin's "Piety and Female Aspiration in the Memoirs of Pauline Epstein Wengeroff and Bella Rosenfeld Chagall" Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues, Number 7,

Spring 5764/2004 <>,

pp. 65-96

(BTW, there is also a new edition of the memoirs by Sh. Magnes, the first volume of which just appeared through Stanford UP.)

Another "best seller" of the years around WWI that hasn't been extensively used and, I think, deserves reprinting, is Horeve Veltn by A.S. Sachs (JPS brought it out in 1928 as "Worlds that Passed"). When you compare that work with Wengeroff's and Bella Chagall's, you get really interesting contrasts that open up the nature of nostalgia and identity among early 20th century east European Jews.


46. You might be interested in:

Pinksy _Jewish Feminists_

Hoffman _After such knowledge_ and _Lost in translation_

Raczymow _La Memoire Trouee_

Fresno _La Diapora des Cendres_

There is a host of work on Jewish history and biography on Germany post 1945. Brumlik, Gr=FCnberg, and Kranz work in this area. Bodemann has done some work in this area, as have Peck and Borneman who reflect on their role in the research. Most of the sources are in German though, please contact me off list if you want a comprehensive list.


47. Shalom Aleichem wrote an autobiography of his early years that is

published in English.  I believe it is called "To The Fair" or something

like that.

There is also an easy-read (but not too easy) biography of Maimonides

which I can track down if you need it.


48. I found _Lamentations of Youth: The Diaries of Gershom Scholem, 1913-1919_ by Gershom Scholem (trans. by Anthony David Skinner) a fascinating read.


49. Some works you might consider:

          Glueckel of Hameln, The Life of Glückel of Hameln 1646-1724, written by herself. Translated from the original Yiddish and edited by Beth-Zion Abrahams, (Yoselof 1963 / Horovitz Publ. Co., London, 1962).

          Edinger, Dora. Bertha Pappenheim: Freud's Anna O. (Highland Park, Illinois: Congregation Solel, 1968).

          Gershom G. Scholem, Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship (Philadelphia: Jewish Publications Society, 1981)

          Walter Benjamin, A Berlin Childhood Around 1900          

          Primo Levi, The Periodic Table (New York: Knopf, 1995)

          Oliver Sacks, Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood (New York: Alfred A. Knopf; / London: Picador, 2002)

          Gabriella Safran, Wandering Soul: The Dybbuk's Creator, S. An-Sky (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard

                   University Press).

          Julius Lester, Lovesong: Becoming a Jew (New York: Henry Holt, 1988)         

In the realm of fictional biography / autobiography, you should also consider W. G. Sebald's extraodinary novel, The Rings of Saturn, which captures an amazing cross-section of Jewish and European history through the life of a figure so real, you won't believe it's fiction.  The book is ultimately about memory and its infinitesimal convolutions.


50. P. S.:  Consider also the following two-part biography of Abraham Joshua Heschel:

          Edward K. Kaplan and Samuel H. Dresner, Abraham Joshua Heschel: Prophetic Witness

          Edward K. Kaplan, Spiritual Radical: Abraham Joshua Heschel in America, 1940-1972

as well as Heschel's own efforts in biography,

          Maimonides: A Biography

          A Passion for Truth (on the Ba'al Shem Tov and the Kotzker Rebbe)

and while we're on the subject of hasidic biography, do consider:

          Arthur Green, The Tormented Master: A Life of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav


51. Here are two additional suggestions.

1) Plain Folk: The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans by David M. Katzman and William M. Tuttle (Paperback) is a selection of short autobiographies published from 1902-04. The paperback edition includes at least two by Jewish women, one by Rose Schneiderman, one of the only well-known figures included. Other articles areby farmers, factory workers, immigrants from Europe and China, African-Americans, and others. Most articles are under 10 pages.

2) Rachel Calof's Story: Jewish Homesteader on the Northern Plains by Rachel Calof (Author), J. Sanford Rikoon (Editor).  You could supplement this with the book And Prairie Dogs Weren't Kosher: Jewish Women in the Upper Midwest since 1855 by Linda Mack Schloff or perhaps more interestingly for students with the virtual museumexhibit,  Unpacking on the Prairie: Jewish Women in the Upper Midwest "


However, anyone teaching this popular text should review “The Original Text of Rachel Calof's Memoir,” by Kristine Peleg, American Jewish History 92.1 (2005) 103-112.  This article shows that the original Yiddish was not only abbreviated, but that the American-born editors re-interpreted and at times inserted material.                          


52. Janet Hadda's biography of Isaac Bashevis Singer is interesting and readable and covers Singer's life before and after arriving to the States.


53. Decades ago (early to mid 1980s?) I offered a course on autobiographies and biographies in Jewish history, with preference to autobiographies wherever possible. Main problems were: back then, less material was available in paperback for student purchase, and titles went out of print and were not reissued. I never repeated the course, maybe a big mistake, because I felt I could not sustain pace of a book a week, devoting attention both to background of the period and the personality of the week as well as the =93angle=94 of the book and in what respect it served as a historical source. Still, I think the course was worthwhile and am glad to see it being repeated.

Some suggested additions to the conversation: materials in Adler, Jewish Travelers, Schwartz, Memoires of My People, Kobler: Letters of the Jews Throughout the Ages =3D A Treasury of Jewish Letters, and Chronicle of Ahimaaz.

On the American Jewish experience: Mary Antin, and also, while technically neither an autobiography or autobiography, A. Cahan, The Rise of David Levinsky, which is very informative (although long=85).

For one of the very few pre-modern autobiographies, Leon Modena=92s A Life of Judah, translated and edited by Mark R. Cohen, with essays of Cohen and Th. Rabb, Natalie Davis, and Howard Adelman. For background on Venice, see Ravid, "The Venetian Government and the Jews," in The Jews of Early Modern Venice, R. C. Davis and B. Ravid, eds. (Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, 2001), pp. 3-30, and on institution of the ghetto in Jewish history, Ravid, “All Ghettos Were Jewish Quarters but not all Jewish Quarters Were Ghettos,” Jewish Culture and History, 10: 2-3 (2008): 5-24, reissued as The Frankfurt Judengasse: Jewish Life in an Early Modern German City, F. Backhaus, G. Engel, R. Liberles and M. Schl=FCter, eds. (London, 2010), 5-22.

Also, did anyone suggest autobiography of Uriel Acosta?  Fascinating insight into Crypto-Jews, Amsterdam, individual thinking, community authority, human relations,  beginnings of modernity etc. See publications of Yerushalmi,  Y. Kaplan, H. P. Salomon etc etc

I always thought autobiographies of Acosta , Modena, Gluckel, and Maimon - four different worlds - should be on all Early Modern reading lists


54. As a good companion volume containing insightful introductory essays to many

of the most important women's autobiographies, I would recommend the issue

of Nashim that I edited with Renee Levine Melammed.  The issue can be found at


55. The autobiographies of Rabbi Yom Tov Lipman Heller, Megilat Eivah,  and

of Rabbi Jacob Emden, Megilat Sefer, are fascinating. There is an

English translation (which I have not seen) of the former, by R. Avraham

Yaakov Finkel, under the title Chronicle of hardship and hope : an

autobiographical account / by Rabbi Yom Tov Lipmann Heller ; including a

supplementary chronicle by Rabbi Shmuel Heller (New York : CIS

Publishers, c1991). The "supplementary chronicle" is a particularly fun

read. Of the latter there is a French translation, but if there is an

English one, I have not tracked it down. It may be too candid for the haredi commmunity.


56. I have been meaning to send you the attached bibliography of primary and secondary sources on Jewish women in Eastern Europe in response to your query on H-Judaic about material for your course on biography. …It is in volume 18 of the journal Polin - the attached file is the Word version. There are a number of memoirs, mostly in other languages but some in English, and a few biographies as well.

 I would be interested in seeing the final version of your syllabus!

Bibliography: Jewish Women in Eastern Europe

Karen Auerbach


This bibliography includes historical sources, as well as literary, sociological, religious, and linguistic studies of a historical nature, related to the lives of Jewish women in eastern Europe. It is limited geographically to the area of present-day Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, and other countries traditionally considered part of eastern Europe. However, several sources related to countries in central Europe, such as the former Czechoslovakia, are included for the period after the Second World War, when these countries were politically aligned with eastern Europe. The bibliography excludes sources about women during the Holocaust, because this important topic comprises a separate category. In the memoirs section, only those sources that deal significantly with life in eastern Europe are included; memoirs that describe only experiences after emigration from eastern Europe or during the Second World War are not listed.

            For a comprehensive bibliography of sources on Jewish women, generally, see Emily Taitz, Sondra Henry, and Cheryl Tallan, The JPS Guide to Jewish Women: 600 B.C.E. to 1900 C.E. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2003), 325–346.


[Heading] Memoirs

Alperin, Menuche, Unter fremde un eygene himlen (‘Under foreign and familiar skies’), 2 vols. (Tel Aviv: Nay Lebn, 1972).

[Memoirs of childhood in the small town of Pohost (Belarus) near Pinsk. The author describes relations between Jews and Christians, Jewish occupations, family life, holiday rituals, the influence of Zionism on young people, generational conflicts and other topics. The first half of the first volume recounts experiences before the Second World War. The remainder relates the author’s wartime experiences and the post-war years.]


Antin, Mary, The Promised Land (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1912). Reprinted by the publisher under the same title in 1969.

[About one-half of this memoir recounts experiences in Plotsk (Płock, Poland) and elsewhere in Eastern Europe in the last decades of the nineteenth century before immigration to the United States. She describes Jewish-Christian relations, holiday rituals, a cholera epidemic, restrictions on education for girls, the education of other female family members, marriage and wedding customs, mikveh customs and other issues. The chapter ‘The Tree of Knowledge’ describes her and her sister’s religious and secular education and Antin’s intellectual development. Other writings by Antin include From Plotzk to Boston (Boston: W.B. Clarke, 1899), reprinted under the same title (New York: M. Wiener, 1986), and Selected Letters of Mary Antin, ed. Evelyn Salz (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2000). However, only The Promised Land deals extensively with Antin’s life in Eastern Europe.]


Azaryahu, Sarah, Pirki Hayim (‘Chapters of a life’) (Tel Aviv: M. Nyuman, 1957).

[Memoir of childhood in Dinaburg (Dvinsk; Daugavpils, Latvia) and Pinsk in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, including her education and involvement in early Zionist circles in Białystok and elsewhere.]


Balabanoff, Angelica, Erinnerungen und Erlebnisse (‘Memories and experiences’) (Berlin: E. Laubsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1927). Translated into Yiddish as Zikhroynes un iberlebenishn, trans. I. Rapaport (Warsaw: Ch. Brzoza, 1929), with introduction by the author: ‘Vi azoy fun a rusish-yidishn privilegirtn meydl iz oysgevaksn an italyenisher sotsialist’ (‘How a Russian Jewish privileged girl became an Italian socialist’).

[Introduction to the Yiddish translation describes the author’s childhood in the Kiev region in a wealthy Jewish family. The author recounts restrictions on her education, attitudes toward Russian and Yiddish, her efforts to acquire an education and rebellion against her wealthy upbringing. The remainder focuses on socialist thought and her leadership in socialist politics and the Communist Party.]


—— My Life as a Rebel (New York: Harper, 1938).

[Recounts the author’s political activities, describing in the first chapter her privileged childhood and rebellion against her family with no reference to her Jewish background. She writes about her early education, language studies, university studies and intellectual development before focusing on her leadership in revolutionary politics.]


Bas Yonah (Sheyndl Dvorin), Em Labanim (‘A mother of children’) (Pinsk: Dolinko, 1935).

[Not seen. Located at the Jewish National and University Library, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.]


Berg, Rebecca Himber, ‘Childhood in Lithuania’, in Leo W. Schwarz (ed.), Memoirs of My People: Jewish Self-Portraits from the 11th to the 20th Centuries (New York: Schocken, 1963), 269-280.

[Author recounts childhood in Yaneshok (Joniskis), Lithuania, in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, with descriptions of family and religious life, marriage customs, living quarters, her father’s business as a petty merchant and other topics.]


Bergner, Hinda Rosenblatt, In di lange vinternekht: Mishpokhe-zikhroynes fun a shtetl in Galitsie, 1870–1900 (‘In the long winter nights: Family memories from a shtetl in Galicia’) (Montreal: privately published, 1946). Translated into Hebrew as Be-lelot ha-horef ha-arukim, trans. Aryeh Aharoni (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1982).

[The author recounts childhood and early years of marriage in the small Galician town of Redim (Radymno, Poland). She describes her religious home, efforts to acquire an education and to avoid marriage proposals, scenes from family life, living quarters, helping her father in his grain business, marriage and childbirth, the influence of modernity on dress and other matters. The author is the mother of the Yiddish writers Melech Ravitch and Herz Bergner.]


Berlin-Papish, Tova, Zelilim shelo nishkhu: Mi-mohilev ad yerushalayim (‘Sounds that were not forgotten: from Mohilev to Jerusalem’) (Tel Aviv: Reshafim, 1988).

[Author recounts experiences in Mogilev (Belarus), Leningrad, and Berlin, as well as her immigration to Palestine in 1924. Includes journal entries.]


Berman, Zehavah, Bedarki sheli (‘My ways’) (Jerusalem: Elyashar, 1982).

[Memoirs of a woman from Białystok, describing her education, study of Hebrew, involvement in Zionist circles, and immigration to Palestine.]


Bobrovskaya, Cecilia, Twenty Years in Underground Russia: Memoirs of a Rank-and-File Bolshevik (New York: International, 1934).

[Author describes Jewish childhood in Velizh near Vitebsk (Belarus), including access to books and reading, education and work in Warsaw in the 1890s, underground reading circles, and involvement in revolutionary politics throughout the Russian empire.]


Broido, Eva L’vovna, Wetterleuchten der Revolution (Berlin: Bücherkreis, 1929). English translation: Trans. Vera Broido, Memoirs of a Revolutionary (London: Oxford University, 1967).

[Author recounts her childhood as the daughter of a Talmudic scholar in Sventsiany (Svencionys, Lithuania) and her leadership in the Russian revolutionary movement. She describes family life, her education in a boys’ kheder, private tutoring, reading habits, university studies, work in a chemist’s shop, marriage, her political awakening to socialism, and other topics. The author focuses on her involvement in revolutionary politics, later as a Menshevik. She ends her memoir in 1917.]


Chagall, Bella, Brenendike likht (New York: Book League of the Jewish People’s Fraternal Order, IWO, 1945). English translation: Trans. Norbert Guterman, Burning Lights (New York: Schocken, 1962).

[The author, the wife of Marc Chagall, describes in short sketches her childhood in a hasidic home in Vitebsk in the context of the cycle of the Jewish week and year, including Shabbat, meals, Jewish holidays, rituals and family life.]


—— Di ershte bagegenish (New York: Book League of the Jewish People’s Fraternal Order, IWO, 1947). English translation of Brenendike likht and Di ershte bagegenish compiled in one volume, with some changes in chapter sequence, under the title First Encounter, trans. Barbara Bray (New York: Schocken, 1983).

[Recollections of the author’s first meetings with Marc Chagall and her childhood in Vitebsk, including descriptions of her father’s watchmaking shop, wedding rituals and other sketches of family life.]


Cohen, Rose, Out of the Shadow (New York: George H. Doran, 1918). Reprinted as Out of the Shadow: A Russian-Jewish Girlhood on the Lower East Side (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995).

[First section recounts the author’s childhood in the 1880s in a ‘small Russian village’ before her immigration to New York at age 12. Included are descriptions of family life and religious beliefs. The sections on life in eastern Europe are dominated by preparations for immigration.]


Cosow, Pauline (Pesil) L. Sher, A lebn farn folk (‘A lifetime for my people’) (New York: Shulsinger, 1971).

[Early sections describe the author’s family and childhood in Vilna (Vilnius) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, before her immigration to the United States in 1905. She describes the limited education of her and her sisters, her work learning a trade, attendance at a night school for women workers, and her encounter with Theodor Herzl. Includes journal entries, poems, and letters.]


Dayan [Daian], Deborah, Be-osher u-ve-yagon (‘In happiness and in sorrow’) (Ramat Gan: Massada, 1956-7). Abbreviated Yiddish and English translations: In glik un in troyer (Tel Aviv: Farlag Y.L. Peretz, 1960), and Pioneer, trans. Michael Plashkes (Ramat Gan: Massada, 1968).

[In the first chapter, the mother of Moshe Dayan relates her experiences in Ukraine, including her education in a Russian gymnasium, her work in the local government, and her awakening to Zionism. The remainder of the book recounts her experiences in Palestine and Israel.]


Dinur, Bilha, Lenekhdotai: Zikhronot mishpahah vesipurei havayot (‘For my granddaughters: Family memories and stories of experiences’), ed. Ben Zion Dinur (Jerusalem: privately printed, 1972).

[Not seen. Located at Stanford University.]


Drach, Lisa, Les fantomes de Lisa, juive polonaise émigrée (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1996).

[First chapter relates experiences of family life in Minsk Mazowiecki (Poland) before the First World War until the author’s immigration to France before the Second World War.]


Dubnova-Erlikh, Sofiia, Khleb i matsa: Vospominania, stikhi raznykh let (‘Bread and matzah: recollections, poems of various years’’) (Saint Petersburg: Maksima, 1994).

[The author is the daughter of the historian Simon Dubnow.]


Edelman, Feni (Fannie), Der shpigl fun lebn (New York: Shulsinger, 1948). English translation: The Mirror of My Life, trans. Samuel Pasner (New York: Exposition Press, 1961).

[Author recounts in the first three chapters her early years in a poor family in a small Galician town near the Russian border, describing the life of the town, relations between Jews and Christians, childhood sickness and medical care, the economic roles of her parents, marriage customs and other issues. The remainder of the memoir describes life in the United States.]


Edelstein (Adelshtein), Zelda, Bedarkhei avot (‘The ways of the fathers’) (Jerusalem: privately published, 1970).

[Memoirs of pre-Second World War life in Stavisk (Stawiski, Poland) in the Łomża region, including family, local personalities, religious life, communal life, disease, education, and marriage.]


Feigenberg (Feygenberg), Rokhel, Di kinder-yorn (‘The childhood years’) (Warsaw: Hatsfirah, 1909-1910).

[This novel, which bears strong similarities to the author’s early life, describes a girl’s childhood, education and family history in a small town in Lithuania, from education in Torah, secular studies and love of books to the premature death of the narrator’s father and her taking charge of the family’s store during her mother’s long illness. The narrator describes her grandmother’s education, reading habits, and attitudes toward her daughters’ education; customs of arranged marriage; her mother’s store and bakery, which she opened after her husband’s death; education at her mother’s behest in Hebrew, Russian and Yiddish; Sabbath rituals; reading habits and obstacles to obtaining new books; and her mother’s long illness and death.]


Fiszman-Sznajdman, Róża, Mayn lublin: Bilder funem lebns-shtayger fun yidn in farmilkhomadikn Poyln (‘My Lublin. A picture of the way of life of Jews in pre-war Poland’) (Tel Aviv: Farlag Y.L. Peretz, 1982).

[Memoir of childhood on Lubartowska Street in Lublin before the Second World War. The writer describes the everyday lives of working-class families in a courtyard of apartment buildings, including occupations, family life, experiences during the First World War, education and teachers, medical care, colonies of Jewish summer vacationers, political movements of Jewish youth, and other matters.]


Fogelman, Bella, Mibeit aba ad halom: Zikhronot Hai (‘From my father’s house to here: Memoirs of a life’) (Kiryat Motzkin: privately published, 1974).

[Not seen. Located at the Jewish National and University Library, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.]


Gorshman, Shire, Ikh hob lib arumforn (‘I love to travel’) (Moscow: Sovetski Pisatel, 1981).

[Short essays by the Yiddish writer about life in the Soviet Union.]


—— Lebn un licht: Dertseylungen un noveln (‘Love and light: Stories and novels’) (Moscow: Sovetski Pisatel, 1974).

[Autobiographical stories, describing childhood in the small town of Krok (Krakes, Lithuania) and beyond.]


Grade, Chaim, My Mother’s Sabbath Days: A Memoir, trans. Channa Kleinerman Goldstein and Inna Hecker Grade (New York: Knopf, 1986). Reprinted in 1997 under the same title (Northvale: Jason Aronson).

[The writer’s memoir of life in Vilna before the Second World War. The first half centers on Grade’s mother, including her prayers and religious observance, holiday rituals, family life, and Jewish women in economic life.]


Greenblatt, Aliza (Eliza), Baym fenster fun a lebn (‘By the window of a life’) (New York: Farlag Aliza, 1966).

[Early sections recount the Yiddish poet’s childhood in Mogilev and the nearby small town of Azarenits (Ozarintsy) in the 1890s, before her immigration to Philadelphia with her family in the early twentieth century. She describes daily life in Azarenits, occupations, the market fair, dress, Shabbat preparations and rituals, charity customs, attitudes toward orphans, marriage customs, her father’s early death, her mother’s remarriage and her early poetry. She mentions briefly her and her sisters’ education and their reciting of Kaddish for their father.]


Grober, Chayele, Tsu der groyser velt (‘To the greater world’) (Buenos Aires: Bialystoker Farband, 1952).

[An actress in the Yiddish theater in Montreal recounts her childhood, family life, and education in Białystok and the surrounding region at the beginning of the twentieth century and her work in the Hebrew and Yiddish theater in eastern Europe. Included are descriptions of childhood friends, a pogrom in Bialystok, experiences as a refugee in Kharkov during the First World War, her start as an actress, and sketches of personalities in the Jewish theater in eastern Europe.]


——, Mi-shney tsadi ha-masakh (‘On both sides of the curtain’) (Haifa: Pinat ha-sefer, 1973). Hebrew translation of Tsu der groyser velt and Mayn veg alein (‘My Way Alone’) (Tel Aviv: Farlag Y.L. Peretz, 1968), Grober’s account of her life in the Yiddish theater after emigrating from eastern Europe.


Guber, Rivka, Morasha lehanhil (‘A legacy to pass on’) (Jerusalem: Kiryat Sefer, 1979).

[Memoir describes childhood in a family of farmers in Ukraine, her education and university studies, experiences during the First World War and the Russian Revolution, and her activities in Zionist circles before the author’s immigration to Palestine.]


Gurvits, Frumah, Zikhronotiha shel rof’ah: Im yehudi lita be-yami ha-shoah (‘Memoirs of a doctor: With the Jews of Lithuania in the days of the Shoah’) (Tel Aviv: Bet lohame ha-geta’ot, ha-kibuts ha-me’uhad, 1981).

[Recollections of a woman doctor from Kovno (Kaunas). About one-third of the memoir recounts experiences before the Second World War.]


Hautzig, Esther (Rudomin), The Endless Steppe: Growing up in Siberia (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1968).

[Memoir of childhood in Vilna and her Second World War experiences in Rubtsovsk (Russia). Brief recollections of pre-war childhood, including education.]


Hersch, Ita, The Writings of Ita Hirsch (Melamed) in Hebrew, Yiddish, and English (Johannesburg: Ammatt, 2000).

[Hersch’s memoir recounts her childhood in Trishik (Tryskiai), Lithuania, including her education in Hebrew and Torah in the late nineteenth century, and her involvement in Zionist and literary circles in Warsaw after her marriage. Hersch immigrated to South Africa in 1904, where she became a Hebrew teacher. The book also includes an essay by Hersch on the Tsenerena and essays about her life. The memoir was initially published from 1956 to 1958 in a Hebrew journal.]


Hilf, Mary Asia, No Time for Tears, as told to Barbara Bourns (New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1964).

[First third of the memoir recounts the author’s childhood in Teofipol, near Kremenets (Ukraine), in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The author describes her struggles to gain an education, reading habits, work, family life, childhood deaths of siblings, marriage customs and other issues. The rest of the memoir recounts experiences after immigration to the United States.]


Holtman, Rokhl Kirsh, Mayn lebns-veg (‘My life’s path’) (New York: Rokhl Holtman Book Committee, 1948).

[The writer recounts her childhood in the small town of Plungyan (Plungiany; Plunge, Lithuania) in the Memel region in the 1880s and 1890s and her education in her home town as well as in Vilna, Warsaw and Berlin. The chapter ‘Mayn gezelshaftlekhe arbet’ (‘My communal work’) describes the establishment of a night school and an illegal library by the author and other young women in Plungyan as well as her own reading habits and desire for learning. In later chapters she describes travelling to Vilna, Warsaw and Berlin to study. About one-third of the memoir describes life before immigration.]


Huberman, Hayah, Tsurikgemishte bletlekh: Zikhroynes (‘Recalled pages: Memoirs’) (Paris: Schipper, 1966).

[Memoir of childhood in a small town near Warsaw and the author’s work as a union organizer in the Warsaw and Łódż regions beginning in the late nineteenth century, including the First World War, the Polish-Soviet War, and the inter-war period.]


Kahan, Ann, ‘The Diary of Anne Kahan, Siedlce, Poland, 1914–1916’, YIVO Annual Jewish Social Science, 18 (1983), 141–371.

[Diary entries from Dec. 31, 1914 to Sept. 26, 1916. The author, who was 14 years old in May 1915, writes about her life in Siedlce during the First World War, with descriptions of her work as a seamstress in a hat shop, reading habits, education, religion and family life, popular culture, politics, anti-Semitism, Zionism, wartime refugees and other topics. Translated from the Yiddish by the diary’s author.]


Kalisz, Ita, A rebishe heim in amolikn poyln (‘A rabbinic home in Poland of the past’) (Tel Aviv: I.L. Peretz, 1963). Hebrew version, with some differences: Etmoli (‘My yesterday’) (Tel Aviv: ha-kibuts ha-me’uhad, 1970).

[The author, a daughter of the Vorker (Warka) hasidic rebbe, describes her childhood in a hasidic court and the history of her family through the First World War and the interwar period. The memoir takes place in Matshayevits (Polish Maciejewice), Otwock, and Wyszków, Poland.]


Kaminska (Kaminski), Esther Rachel, Briv fun Ester Rokhl Kaminski (‘Letters of Esther Rachel Kaminski’) (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1927).

[Letters from the Polish Jewish actress to her family and friends, written from 1908 to 1925, the year of her death.]


Kaminska, Ida, My Life, My Theatre, ed. and trans. Curt Leviant (New York: Macmillan, 1973).

[Memoirs of the Polish Jewish actress in the Yiddish theater, a daughter of Esther Rachel Kaminska, from childhood to her emigration from Poland during the ‘anti-Zionist’ campaign in Poland in 1967-1968.]


Kaminska, Ruth Turkow, I Don’t Want to Be Brave Anymore (Washington: New Republic, 1978). Introduction by Harrison E. Salisbury.

[Memoirs of actress Ida Kaminska’s daughter, who recounts experiences in eastern Poland and the Soviet Union during the Second World War, until her repatriation to Poland from the Soviet Union in 1955–6.]


Kirshenbaum, Haya, Me’ir huladti, Melitz (‘From the city of my birth, Melitz [Mielec]’) (Ramat-Gan: privately published, 1976).

[Not seen. Located at the Jewish National and University Library, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.]


Korngold, Sheyne, Zikhroynes (‘Memoirs’) (Tel Aviv: Idepress, 1968).

[The author, the older sister of Golda Meir, describes her childhood and youth in Pinsk and Kiev at the turn of the twentieth century. She writes about family life and awakening to Jewish political movements by her and her siblings. The first half of the memoir recounts life before emigration from eastern Europe.]


Kositza (Kositsa), Rokhl (Rachel Anna), Zikhroynes fun a bialystoker froy (‘Memoirs of a woman from Białystok’) (Los Angeles: Schwartz Printing, 1964).

[Author recounts the story of her family, childhood, and adulthood in Białystok in the last three decades of the nineteenth century and early years of the twentieth century before the author’s immigration to the United States in 1906.]


Kovály, Heda Margolius, Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague, 1941–1968, trans. Franci Epstein, Helen Epstein, and the author (Cambridge: Plunkett Lake Press, 1986). Reprinted under the same title in 1989 (New York and London: Penguin Books) and in 1997 (New York: Holmes & Meier).

[Author’s account of childhood survival during the Second World War and subsequent experiences in Czechoslovakia, including her husband’s conviction and death sentence in the 1952 show trials of Communist Party General Secretary Rudolf Slansky and thirteen co-defendants.]


Lang, Lucy Robins, Tomorrow Is Beautiful (New York: Macmillan, 1948).

[First chapter, ‘Matriarch versus Patriarch’, recounts the author’s childhood in Kiev and nearby small towns. She describes marriage customs, attendance in a boy’s kheder, her mother’s refusal to shave her head, men’s and women’s dress, her father’s emigration to avoid being drafted, and issues of family life and observance. Most of the remaining book recounts life after immigration to the United States.]


LaZebnik, Edith, Such a Life (New York: William Morrow, 1978).

[Author focuses on the Minsk region, describing the complicated family life of her father, his move away from tradition, business activities, women’s employment in factories and shops, the impact of early marriage, education, divorce, and other family issues.]


Leder, Mary M., My Life in Stalinist Russia: An American Woman Looks Back, ed. Laurie Bernstein (Bloomington: Indiana University, 2001). Introduction by Laurie Bernstein and Robert Weinberg.

[Memoirs of an American Jewish girl from California, the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine, who as a teen-ager moved with her family to Birobidzhan. The memoir describes her experiences in Birobidzhan, Moscow, and elsewhere in the Soviet Union from 1931 primarily until 1953, including university studies, work in publishing, and employment in the Soviet news agency.]


Lee, Malka, Durkh kindershe oygn (‘Through child’s eyes’) (Buenos Aires: Farlag ‘Yidbukh’, 1955).

[The poet describes childhood in a small town in Galicia in a hasidic family, including education in a Polish school, a cholera epidemic, experiences during the First World War and other issues.]


Lipshitz, Shifra, Khaloymes un virklekhkeit: Birobidzhan un arbetslagern (‘Dreams and reality: Birobidzhan and labor camps’) (Tel Aviv: Eygens, 1979).

[Author recounts her childhood in the Łomża region in the early twentieth century, her work in Warsaw and the Soviet Union, her experiences in Birobidzhan in the 1930s, and life in Soviet labor camps.]


Lishansky, Shoshona, Mi-tseror zikhronotai (‘From the bouquet of my memories’) (Jerusalem, 1942).

[Not seen. Located at Widener Library, Harvard University.]


Londyn(ski), Helen, In shpigl fun nekhtn: Zikhroynes (‘In the mirror of yesterday: Memoirs’) (New York: Helen Londynski Book Committee, 1972).

[Author recounts her rebellion against her wealthy hasidic family in Warsaw and her involvement in Warsaw Yiddish literary circles. She describes her efforts to obtain an education despite her father’s protests; attitudes toward Yiddish, Polish and Russian; founding a kitchen for refugee children during the First World War and her help in establishing a Yiddish nursery school for the refugees; marriage to the Yiddish writer and poet Shmuel Londynski; the establishment of the Yiddish publishing house ‘Di Tsayt’ in Warsaw; the Londynskis’ involvement in Polish and Yiddish intellectual circles in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s; and their lives as wartime refugees before reaching the United States in 1942.]


Lown, Bella, Memories of My Life: A Personal History of a Lithuanian Shtetl (Malibu: Joseph Simon/Pangloss, 1991).

[Author recounts her childhood as the daughter and granddaughter of rabbis in Filipoveh (Filipów, Poland?) and Shirvint (Sirvintos, Lithuania) and her married life in Utyan, Lithuania, until her departure from Lithuania in 1936. She describes holiday rituals, her father’s visit to Palestine, typhus epidemics, medical care, wedding customs, a female relative’s suicide, secular and religious education, reading habits, the First World War and experiences as refugees, work as a teacher and translator, the Russian Revolution, her marriage and childbirth, Jewish communal life, Zionist youth groups, and other topics. The last third of the memoir describes life in the United States.]


Margolina, Rakhel Pavlovna, Rakhel Pavlovna Margolina i ee perepiska s Korneem Ivanovichem Chukovskim (‘Rakhel Pavlovna Margolina and her correspondence with Korney Ivanovich Chukovski’) (Jerusalem: Stav, 1978).

[Located at the Widener Library, Harvard University.]


Markish, Esther, The Long Return, trans. D.J. Goldstein (New York: Ballantine, 1978). Forward by David Roskies. Original in French. Hebrew translation: Lihzor me-derekh arukhah (Tel Aviv: ha-kibuts ha-me’uhad, 1977).

[Author was the wife of the Soviet Yiddish poet and writer Peretz Markish. Her memoir recounts her early years in Ekaterinoslaw (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) and Baku in an assimilated, wealthy Jewish family, describing her father’s activities in the oil business, attitudes toward religion, the Russian Revolution, pogroms, education, anti-Semitism, the impact of Soviet politics on her family, and marriage. The bulk of the memoir describes life with Markish, including Soviet Jewish literary circles, the Second World War, her husband’s arrest, and her efforts to immigrate to Israel after her husband’s death.]


Medem, Gina, A Lebensveg (‘A Way of Life’) (New York: Gina Medem Book Committee, 1950).

[The author, who was married to the writer and Bund activist Vladimir Medem, recounts her childhood near Piotrkow and in Łódż as the daughter of an assimilated father and a mother from a rabbinic home in Memel. She describes family life, her education and intellectual development, revolutionary politics in Łódż, her studies abroad in Estonia and elsewhere, her involvement in the Bund in Poland, and her life with Medem.]


Nudel, Ida, A Hand in the Darkness: The Autobiography of a Refusenik, trans. Stefani Hoffman (New York: Warner, 1990).

[Autobiography of a Soviet Jewish dissident, including her exile to Siberia and her immigration to Israel in 1987. The memoir briefly describes her childhood in Moscow and Crimea and adulthood as an economist before focusing on her efforts to immigrate to Israel and her experiences of anti-Semitism. The autobiography also includes letters written to and from Nudel from 1972 to 1986.]


Pesotta, Rose, Days of Our Lives (Boston: Excelsior, 1958).

[Author recounts her Jewish youth in Derazhnya (Ukraine), focusing on aspects of economic and religious life, life-cycle events, and political awakening. She describes holiday preparations and rituals, wedding customs, childbirth and funeral rituals, reactions to political events, food rituals, attendance at an elementary school for girls, study of Hebrew and Russian, reading habits, involvement in a reading circle, and underground political activities. The last three chapters describe her journey to the United States and life as an immigrant.]


Prozanskaya Lackow, Manya, ‘In the Russian Gymnasia’, Lilith, 15.1 (Winter 1990/5750), 15-20.

[Excerpt from a memoir in which the author describes her education at a Hebrew school and a Russian government primary school in the small town of Lubeshov and at a Russian gymnasium in Pinsk beginning in 1912.]


Rakovsky, Puah, My Life as a Radical Jewish Woman: Memoirs of a Zionist Feminist in Poland, ed. Paula E. Hyman, trans. Barbara Harshav with Paula E. Hyman (Bloomington: Indiana University, 2002). Introduction by Paula E. Hyman. Translation from the Yiddish: Zikhroynes fun a yidisher revolutsionerin (Buenos Aires: Tsentral-Farband fun Poylisher Yidn in Argentine, 1954). Abbreviated Hebrew translation published as Lo Nikhnati (‘I Did Not Yield’) (Tel Aviv: N. Tversky, 1951). Also excerpted as ‘A Mind of My Own’, in Lucy S. Dawidowicz (ed.), The Golden Tradition: Jewish Life and Thought in Eastern Europe (Syracuse: Syracuse University, 1996), 388-393.

[Author recounts her childhood and education in a religious family in Białystok, her career as an educator in private schools for Jewish girls, her work as a Zionist and feminist activist in Poland, primarily in Warsaw, and her private life, including her arranged first marriage and divorce. The memoir, which was written in 1940-42, begins in the 1860s and ends with her immigration to Palestine in 1935.]


Rosenthal-Shnaiderman, Esther, Birobidzhan fun der noent: Zikhroynes, gesheenishn, perzenlikhkaitn (‘Birobidzhan from up close: Memories, experiences, personalities’) (Tel Aviv: H. Leyvik-Farlag, 1983). Translated into Hebrew as Birobidzhan me-karov: Zikhronot, me-ora’ot, ishim, trans. Shelomoh Even-Shoshan (Tel Aviv: ha-kibuts ha-me’uhad, 1990).


—— Oyf vegn un umvegn: Zikhroynes, gesheenishn, perzenlikhkaitn (‘Of roads and detours: Memories, experiences, personalities’), 3 vols. (Tel Aviv: Hamenora, 1974, 1982). Translated into Hebrew as Nafutle derekhim: Zikhronot, me-ora’ot, ishim, 3 vols. (Tel Aviv: ha-kibuts ha-me’uhad, 1970–1989).

[The first volume recounts the author’s childhood and youth in Częstochowa, Poland, in the early twentieth century; the second describes her life and political work among Jews in the Soviet Union; the third describes personalities and events in Soviet Jewish life. The author was repatriated to Poland in 1958 and settled in Jerusalem in 1962.]


Rozenthal, Anna Heller, ‘Bletlekh fun a lebns-geshikhte’ (‘Pages from a life-story’), in A. Tsherikover et. al. (eds.), Di yidishe sotsialistishe bavegung biz der grindung fun ‘Bund(‘The Jewish socialist movement until the establishment of the Bund’), Historishe shriftn, 3 (Vilna: YIVO, 1939).

[Memoirs of a Bund activist, a dentist by profession, from the Grodno region who lived in Vilna. The author died in the 1940s in a Soviet prison, according to the Leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur (‘Biographical dictionary of modern Yiddish literature’).]


Rubin, Rivke, Yidishe froyen: fartseykhenungen (‘Jewish women: jottings’) (Moscow: Der Emes, 1943).

[Sketches of Jewish women’s lives in the Soviet Union by the Yiddish writer and literary critic.]


Rusinek, Alla, Like a Song, Like a Dream: A Soviet Girl’s Quest for Freedom (New York: Scribner, 1973).

[Memoir of a Soviet Jewish activist. The author describes her childhood with little attention to Jewish matters, then focuses on her awakening to Zionism as a young woman and her increasing involvement in Zionist circles in Moscow, including her requests to emigrate and her eventual immigration to Israel.]


Schenirer (Shnirer), Sarah, Gezamlte shriftn (‘Collected writings’) (Łódż: Beys Yakov, 1932–3). Excerpt published as Sarah Schenirer, ‘Mother of the Beth Jacob Schools’, in Dawidowicz, The Golden Tradition, 206-209, with biographical information. Collected writings in Hebrew: Em be-yisrael: Kol kitve sara shenirer, 3 vols. (‘Mother in Israel: Collected writings of Sarah Schenirer’) (Tel Aviv: Nezah, 1955–60).

[Autobiographical essays by Schenirer, founder of the Beth Jacob religious schools for girls in Poland.]


Schulman, Faye, A Partisan’s Memoir. Woman of the Holocaust (Toronto: Second Story Press, 1995). With the assistance of Sarah Silberstein Swartz.

[The first two chapters recount the author’s childhood in Lenin (Belarus), including descriptions of economic life, religious observance, political activities of youth, a Jewish women’s volunteer organization, her sister’s work life and marriage, her family’s business activities, anti-Semitism and education.]


Shechter, Esther, Di geshikhte fun mayn lebn (‘The story of my life’) (Winnipeg: Dos Yidishe Vort, 1951).

[The author, the daughter of a maskil, describes in the first sections her childhood in a well-to-do family in Medzhibizh (Medzhibozh, Ukraine) in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. She recounts her education in a cheder and a Russian gymnasium, reading of books and newspapers, the town’s library, studies in Odessa, marriage and divorce, her printing shop in Odessa, political involvement and remarriage. The remainder of the memoir describes her life in Canada beginning in 1905 and includes correspondence and essays written after immigration.]


Shohat, Manya, ‘The Woman in the Bund and in Poalei Zion (1937)’, in Paul Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz (eds.), The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History (New York: Oxford University, 1995) 425-428.

[In this excerpt from a speech in Tel Aviv, Shohat, a leader of Labor Zionism, describes the role of women in socialist parties in eastern Europe and the status of Jewish women.]


Shulner, Dora, Azoy hot es pasirt, 1905–1922 (‘This is how it happened’) (Chicago: Radomishler Ladies’ Auxiliary, 1942).

[The author describes life in Ukraine, including education, work experiences, and political involvement.]


—— Miltshin un andere dertseylungen (‘Miltshin and other stories’) (Chicago: ‘A group of friends’, 1946).

[Autobiographical short stories.]


Sivak-Kirsh, Chaika, Fun mayn nekhtn: Zikhroynes (‘From my yesterdays: Memoirs’) (Tel Aviv: Farlag Problemen, 1981).

[The first two sections recount the author’s childhood near Kiev, until her immigration to Montreal in 1923.]


Sperber (Shperber), Miriam, Mi-berdichev ad yerushalayim: Zikhronot le-beyt ruzin (‘From Berdichev to Jerusalem: recollections of the house of Ruzin’) (Jerusalem: M. Shperber, 1980).

[Memoir of childhood and family history beginning in the 1870s in Berdichev (Ukraine) and her travels to Odessa, Romania, and London before immigration to Palestine after the Second World War.]


Stone, Goldie, My Caravan of Years: An Autobiography (New York: Bloch Publishing, 1945).

[First quarter of the memoir recounts childhood and young adulthood in a small town in the Suwałki region (Poland). She describes her education in Hebrew, attitudes toward marriage and divorce, friendship with Christian children and Jewish-Christian relations, women’s participation in the synagogue, fear of a pogrom, knowledge of languages, a neighbor’s suicide, medical care, her father’s death, her brother’s efforts to gain a university education, and her immigration to the United States.]


Weizmann-Lichtenstein, Haya, Be-tsel koratenu: pirki zikhronot mibeit aba (‘In our house: chapters of memories from my father’s house’) (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1947-8).

[The author, a sister of Chaim Weizmann, describes childhood in Motele (Motol, Belarus), including family life, religious observance, and the beginnings of her Zionist involvement, as well as her experiences in Warsaw, Vilna and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.]


—— El ha-gevul ha-nikhsef (‘To the long-awaited end’) (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1952-53).

[Continuation of Be-tsel koratenu. The first quarter of this volume continues to recount the author’s life in eastern Europe before immigration to Palestine in the 1920s.]


Wengeroff, Pauline, Rememberings: The World of a Russian-Jewish Woman in the Nineteenth Century, ed. Bernard D. Cooperman, trans. Henny Wenkart (Potomac: University Press of Maryland, 2000). Also excerpted as ‘Memoirs of a Grandmother’, in Lucy S. Dawidowicz (ed.), The Golden Tradition: Jewish Life and Thought in Eastern Europe (Syracuse: Syracuse University, 1996), 160-168.

[English translation from the German, which was published in Berlin in 1913 and 1919. Memoir of childhood in a religious, well-to-do, misnagdic family in Bobruisk and Brest (Belarus) and the impact of the haskalah on education, youth and Jewish observance. The memoir covers the period from about 1840 to her husband’s death in 1892. Wengeroff intersperses her personal experiences with analysis of the impact of modernity and general societal changes on Jewish life. Included are descriptions of her education, Jewish holidays and rituals, wedding customs, reading habits, her arranged marriage, married life in various cities of the Russian empire, childbirth, Jewish dress, her children’s baptism and other topics.]


Yellin, Ita (Etta), Letse’etsa’ai (‘For my descendants’) (Jerusalem: Hama’arav, 1937-1941).

[Author describes childhood in a small town near Grodno and in Mogilev before immigration to Palestine.]


Zunser, Miriam Shomer, Yesterday: A Memoir of a Russian Jewish Family, ed. Emily Wortis Leider (New York: Harper and Row, 1978).

[Story of the author’s family beginning with her maternal grandparents and their children in the first half of the 19th century. The author, a daughter of the Yiddish writer whose pen name was Shomer, recounts her parents’ involvement in the Yiddish theater in Odessa and the family’s lives in Odessa and Pinsk. Most of the memoir recounts the family’s history before their immigration to the United States in 1889 and 1890. With a postscript by Leider, the author’s granddaughter, recounting Zunser’s life in the United States. The memoir was first published in 1939.]


[HEADING] Secondary Sources

Adler, Eliyana R., “Educational Options for Jewish Girls in Nineteenth-Century Europe’, Polin, 15 (2002), 301–10.


Adler, Ruth P., ‘Devorah Baron: Chronicler of Women in the Shtetl’, Midstream 34.6 (August–September 1988), 40–42.


—— ‘Dvora Baron: Daughter of the Shtetl’, in Judith R. Baskin (ed.), Women of the Word: Jewish Women and Jewish Writing (Detroit: Wayne State University, 1994), 91–110.


—— ‘The Rabbi’s Daughter as Author: Dvora Baron Views the Rituals and Customs of a Lithuanian Shtetl’, Proceedings of the Eleventh World Congress of Jewish Studies, vol. 3, part 3 (1994), 53–60.


—— Women of the Shtetl: Through the Eyes of Y.L. Peretz (Rutherford: Farleigh Dickinson University; London: Associated University Presses, 1980).


Agudat Israel, Programm und Leistung, Keren Hathora und Beth Jakob, 1929–1937 (‘Programming and Achievements of Keren Hatorah and Beth Jacob, 1929–1937’) (London and Vienna: Verlag der Keren Hatora-Zentrale, 1937).

[Located at Widener Library, Harvard University.]


Aleksiun, Natalia. ‘Gender and Nostalgia: Images of Women in Early “Yizker Bikher” ’, Jewish Culture and History, 5.1 (2002), 69–90.


Araszkiewicz, Agata, Wypowiadam wam moje życie. Melancholia Zuzanny Ginczanki (‘I express to you my life. The melancholy of Zuzanna Ginczanka’) (Warsaw: Fundacja OŚKa, 2001).

[About the life and literature of Zuzanna Ginczanka, an inter-war Polish poet of Jewish background, involved in Polish literary circles in Warsaw.]


Araten, Rachel Sarna, Michalina: Daughter of Israel (Jerusalem: Am Yisrael Chai, 1986).

[Story of a Polish Jewish girl who was kidnapped in 1899 and raised as a Catholic.]


Ashkenazi, Shlomo, Ha-isha b’ispaklrit ha-yehadut (‘The woman in the mirror of Judaism’), 2 vols. (Tel Aviv : Hotsa'at Tsiyon, 1979).


—— ‘Mehabrot piyyutim, tehinot u-tefillot (‘Women authors of piyyutim, tehinot and prayers’), Mahanayim, 109 (1967), 75–82.


Bacon, Gershon C., ‘The Missing 52 Percent: Research on Jewish Women in Inter-war Poland and its Implications for Holocaust Studies’, in Dalia Ofer and Lenore J. Weitzman (eds.), Women in the Holocaust (New Haven: Yale University, 1998), 55–67.


—— ‘Woman? Youth? Jew? The Search for Identity of Jewish Young Women in Interwar Poland’, in Judith Tydor Baumel and Tova Cohen (eds.), Gender, Place and Memory in the Modern Jewish Experience: Re-placing Ourselves (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2003), 3–28.


Baker, Mark, ‘The Voice of the Deserted Jewish Woman, 1867–1870’, Jewish Social Studies, 2.1 (1995), 98–123.

[About deserted women in eastern Prussia, Russia, and Poland, based largely on information in Ha-magid, a newspaper in eastern Prussia.]


Balin, Carole B., To Reveal Our Hearts: Jewish Women Writers in Tsarist Russia (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 2000).


Baskin, Judith R., (ed.), Women of the Word: Jewish Women and Jewish Writing (Detroit: Wayne State University, 1994). See also articles listed by individual authors.


Baum, Charlotte, ‘What Made Yetta Work? The Economic Role of Eastern European Jewish Women in the Family’, Response, A Contemporary Jewish Review,18 (1973), 32–45. (This issue is titled ‘The Jewish Woman: An Anthology’.)


Benisch, Pearl, Carry Me in Your Heart: The Life and Legacy of Sarah Schenirer, Founder and Visionary of the Bais Yaakov Movement (Jerusalem: Feldheim, 2003).


Ben-Zvi, Rachel Yanait, Manya Shochat (in Hebrew) (Jerusalem: Yad Yitshak Ben-Tsevi, 1976). English translation: Before Golda: Manya Shochat, A Biography, trans. Sandra Shurin (New York: Biblio Press, 1989). Introduction by Marie Syrkin.


Berger, Ruth, ‘Frauen in der ostjüdischen Volkserzählung’ (‘Women in eastern European Jewish folk stories’), Aschkenas, 8.2 (1998), 381–423.


Berger, Shulamith Z., ‘Tehines: A Brief Survey of Women’s Prayers’, in Susan Grossman and Rivka Haut (eds.), Daughters of the King: Women and the Synagogue: A Survey of History, Halakhah and Contemporary Realities (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1992), 73–83.


Biale, David, ‘Childhood, Marriage and the Family in the Eastern European Jewish Enlightenment’, in Steven M. Cohen and Paula E. Hyman (eds.), The Jewish Family: Myths and Reality (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1986), 45–61.


—— ‘Eros and Enlightenment: Love Against Marriage in the East European Jewish Enlightenment’, Polin, 1 (1986), 49–67.


—— Eros and the Jews: From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America (New York: Basic Books, 1992).


Bilik, Dorothy Seidman, ‘Jewish Women and Yiddish Literature’, Transactions of the Seventh International Congress on the Enlightenment, vol. 3 (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1989).


—— ‘Tsene-rene: A Yiddish Literary Success’, Jewish Book Annual, 51 (1993), 96–111.


Blatman, Daniel, ‘National minority policy, Bundist social organizations, and Jewish women in interwar Poland’, in Zvi Gitelman (ed.), The Emergence of Modern Jewish Politics: Bundism and Zionism in Eastern Europe (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 2003).


—— ‘Women in the Jewish Labor Bund in Inter-war Poland’, in Dalia Ofer and Lenore J. Weitzman (eds.), Women in the Holocaust (New Haven: Yale University, 1998), 68–84.


Bristow, Edward J., Prostitution and Prejudice: The Jewish Fight Against White Slavery 1870-1939 (New York: Schocken, 1983).


Brumlik, Micha, ‘Jüdischer Alltag in Polen’ (‘Jewish everyday life in Poland’), in Kristine von Soden (ed.), Rosa Luxemburg (Berlin: Elefanten Press, 1995), 38-43.


Cohen, Steven M. and Paula E. Hyman (eds.), The Jewish Family: Myths and Reality (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1986).

[See also individual articles listed by author.]


Cohen, Tova, ‘From Private Sphere to Public Sphere: The Writings of Nineteenth Century Enlightened Jewish Women’ (Hebrew), in David Assaf, et al. (eds.), Studies in East European Jewish History and Culture in Honor of Professor Shmuel Werses (Jerusalem: Magnes, 2002), 235-259.


—— Ha-ahat ahuvah ve-ha-ahat senuah: bin metsiut le-bidyon be-te’uri ha-ishah be-sifrut ha-Haskalah (‘One Beloved and the Other Hated: Between Reality and Fiction in Haskalah Depictions of Women’) (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2002).


—— ‘ “Information about women is necessarily information about men”: On Iris Parush's “Reading Women” ’, Journal of Israeli History, 21.1-2 (2002), 169-191.


—— ‘Reality and its refraction in descriptions of women in Hebrew haskalah literature’, in David Sorkin and Shmuel Feiner, eds., New Perspectives on the Haskalah (London: Littman Library, 2001), 144-165.


Czajecka, Bogusława, ‘Działalność żydowskich stowarzyszeń kobiecych (zawodowych, oświatowych i charytatywnych) w Krakowie w latach 1869–1939’(‘The activities of Jewish women’s associations [professional, educational, and charitable] in Kraków from 1869–1939’), in Krzysztof Pilarczyk (ed.), Żydzi i Judaizm we Współczesnych Badaniach Polskich: Materialy z Konferencji, Krakow 21-23 XI 1995 (‘Jews and Judaism in contemporary Polish research: materials from the conference in Krakow, November 21-23, 1995’) (Kraków: Księgarnia Akademicka, 1997), 249–56.


Davis-Kram, Harriet, ‘The Story of the Sisters of the Bund’, Contemporary Jewry, 5.2 (1980), 27–43.


Deutsch, Nathaniel, The Maiden of Ludmir: A Jewish Holy Woman and Her World (Berkeley: University of California, 2003).


—— ‘New Archival Sources on the Maiden of Ludmir’, Jewish Social Studies, 9.1 (2002), 164-172.


Deutschlander, Leo, Bajs Jakob, Sein Wesen und Werden (‘Bais Jacob, its origins and  history’) (Vienna: Verlag der Keren Hatora-Zentrale, 1928).

[Not seen. Located at the Jewish National and University Library, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.]


Dobroszycki, Lucjan, ‘The Fertility of Modern Polish Jewry’, in Paul Ritterband (ed.), Modern Jewish Fertility (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1981), 64–77.


Elazar, Dahlia S., ‘ “Engines of acculturation”: The Last Political Generation of Jewish Women in Interwar East Europe’, Journal of Historical Sociology, 15.3 (2002), 366–94.


Endelman, Todd M., ‘Gender and Radical Assimilation in Modern Jewish History’, in Marc Lee Raphael (ed.), Gendering the Jewish Past (Williamsburg: College of William and Mary, 2002), 25-40.


Engelstein, Laura, ‘Die Ausloeschung der jüdischen Frau. Antisemitische Klischees von Mädchenhandel und Ritualmord im Russland der Jahrhundertwende’ (The erasing of the Jewish woman. Antisemitic stereotypes of slave traffic and ritual murder in Russia at the turn of the century’), in Jutta Dick and Barbara Hahn (eds.), Von einer Welt in die andere: Jüdinnen im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (‘From one world to the other: Jewish women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’) (Vienna: Verlag Christian Brandstatter, 1993), 167–78.


Etkes, Immanuel, ‘Marriage and Torah Study among the Lomdim in Lithuania in the Nineteenth Century’, in David Kraemer (ed.), The Jewish Family: Metaphor and Memory (New York: Oxford University, 1989), 153–78.

[Discusses the economic role of Jewish women in the family and the portrayal of women in east European Enlightenment literature.]


Ettinger, Elżbieta, Rosa Luxemburg: A Life (Boston: Beacon, 1986).

[Includes aspects of Luxemburg’s Jewish background as a child and young woman in Zamość and Warsaw.]


Feiner, Shmuel, ‘Ha-ishah ha-yehudiyah ha-modernit: Mikre-mivhan be-yahasei ha-haskalah ve-ha-modernah’ (‘The modern Jewish women: A test-case in the relations of the Haskalah and modernity’), Zion, 58 (1993), 453–99.


Feingold, Ben Ami, ‘Feminism in Hebrew Nineteenth Century Fiction,’ Jewish Social Studies, 49.3-4 (1987), 235-250.


Fieseler, Beate. ‘Dziedzictwo żydowskie i socjaldemokracja; kobiety w Bundzie i SDPRR na przełomie XIX I XX wieku’ (‘The Jewish legacy and Social Democracy: women in the Bund and the Russian Social Democratic Worker’s Party at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’), in Feliks Tych and Jürgen Hensel (eds.), Bund: 100 lat historii, 1897–1997 (‘The Bund: 100 years of history, 1897–1997’) (Warsaw: Jewish Historical Institute, 2000).


Forman, Frieda, Ethel Raicus, Sarah Silberstein Swartz, Margie Wolfe (eds.), Found Treasures: Stories by Yiddish Women Writers (Toronto: Second Story Press, 1994). With introduction by Irena Klepfisz.


Frankel, Giza, ‘Notes on the Costume of the Jewish Woman in Eastern Europe’, Journal of Jewish Art, 7 (1980), 50–57.


Freeze, ChaeRan Y., ‘Gendering Marital Conflict and Divorce Among Jews in Tsarist Russia’, in Marc Lee Raphael (ed.), Gendering the Jewish Past (Williamsburg: College of William and Mary, 2002), 59-78.


—— Jewish Marriage and Divorce in Imperial Russia (Hanover: University Press of New England, 2002).


—— ‘The Litigious “Gerusha”: Jewish Women and Divorce in Imperial Russia’, Nationalities Papers, 25.1 (1997), 89–101.


Friedlander, Judith, ‘The Jewish Feminist Question’, Dialectical Anthropology, 8 (1983), 113–20.


Gitelman, Zvi, ‘Correlates, Causes and Consequences of Jewish Fertility in the USSR’, Paul Ritterband (ed.), Modern Jewish Fertility (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1981), 33–63.


Glenn, Susan, Daughters of the Shtetl: Life and Labor in the Immigrant Generation (Ithaca: Cornell University, 1990).


Goldberg, Jacob, ‘Jewish Marriage in Eighteenth-Century Poland’, Polin, 10 (1997), 3–39.


Goldstein, Ya’akov, Manya Vilbushevitz-Shochat: Perek ha-manhigut ha-mahpekhanit (‘Manya Vilbushevitz-Shochat: Her revolutionary leadership in Russia’) (Haifa: Haifa University, 1991).


Govrin, Nurit, Ha-mahatsit ha-rishonah: Devorah baron, hayehah vi yetsiratah, 1887–1923 (‘The first half: Dvora Baron, her life and work, 1887–1923’), (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1988).


Greenbaum, Alfred Abraham, ‘The Girls’ “Heder” and Girls in the Boys’ “Heder” in Eastern Europe before World War I’, East/West Education, 18.1 (1997), 55–62.


Haver, Charlotte E., ‘Vom Schtetl in die Stadt. Zu einigen Aspekten der Migration ostjüdischer Frauen um die Jahrhundertwende’ (‘From the shtetl to the city. On some aspects of the migration of eastern European Jewish women at the turn of the century’), Aschkenas, 5.2 (1995), 331–58.


Hellerstein, Kathryn (ed. and trans.), ‘Canon and Gender: Women Poets in Two Modern Yiddish Anthologies’, in Judith R. Baskin (ed.), Women of the Word: Jewish Women and Jewish Writing (Detroit: Wayne State University, 1994), 136-152.


——‘Gender Studies and Yiddish Literature’ (annotated bibliography), in Naomi B. Sokoloff, Ann Lapidus Lerner, and Anita Norich (eds.), Gender and Text in Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Cambridge: Harvard University, 1992), 249–55.


—— ‘The Name in the Poem: Women Yiddish Poets’, Shofar, 20.3 (2002), 32–52.


—— Paper Bridges: Selected Poems of Kadya Molodowsky (Detroit: Wayne State University, 1999). With introduction by Hellerstein.


—— ‘A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish’, in Lewis Fried (ed.), Handbook of American Jewish Literature: An Analytical Guide to Topics, Themes and Sources (New York: Greenwood, 1988), 195–237.


—— ‘Songs of Herself: A Lineage of Women Yiddish Poets’, Studies in American Jewish Literature, 9.2 (1990), 138–50.


Henry, Sondra and Emily Taitz, Written Out of History: A Hidden Legacy of Jewish Women Revealed Through Their Writings and Letters (New York: Bloch, 1978). Reprinted as Written Out of History: Our Jewish Foremothers (Fresh Meadows: Biblio Press, 1983).


Hundert, Gershon David, ‘Approaches to the History of the Jewish Family in Early Modern Poland-Lithuania’, in Steven M. Cohen and Paula E. Hyman (eds.), The Jewish Family: Myths and Reality (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1986), 17–28.


––— ‘Jewish Children and Childhood in Early Modern East Central Europe’, in David Kraemer (ed.), Jewish Family: Metaphor and Memory (New York: Oxford University, 1989), 81–94.


Hyman, Paula E., ‘East European Jewish Women in an Age of Transition, 1880–1930’, in Judith R. Baskin (ed.), Jewish Women in Historical Perspective (Detroit: Wayne State University, 1998), 270–86.


—— Gender and Assimilation in Modern Jewish History: The Roles and Representation of Women (Seattle: University of Washington, 1995).


—— ‘Gender and the Jewish Family in Modern Europe’, in Dalia Ofer and Lenore J. Weitzman (eds.), Women in the Holocaust (New Haven: Yale University, 1998), 25–38.


—— ‘The Jewish Body Politic: Gendered Politics in the Early Twentieth Century’, Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Issues, 2 (1999), 37–51.


—— ‘Memory, Gender and Identity in Modern Jewish History’, in Michael A. Signer (ed.), Memory and History in Christianity and Judaism (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 2001), 85–104.


—— ‘Puah Rakovsky ou le defi des conventions’, Cahiers du Judaisme, 12 (2002), 25–33.


—— ‘Two models of modernization: Jewish Women in the German and the Russian Empires’, Studies in Contemporary Jewry, 16 (2000), 39–53.


Kaplan-Merminski, Rokhl, Froyen-problem (Warsaw, 1927).

[Not seen. Located in the Jewish National and University Library, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.]


Kästner, Ingrid, ‘Aufstieg durch Bildung? Das Schicksal der Juedinnen unter den ersten russischen Ärztinnen’ (‘Advancement through education? The destiny of Jewish women and the first Russian female doctors’), in Albrecht Scholz and Caris-Petra Heidel (eds.), Medizinische Bildung und Judentum (Dresden: Goldenbogen, 1998), 76–83.


Katz, Jacob, ‘Family, Kinship and Marriage among Ashkenazim in the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries’,  Jewish Journal of Sociology, 1.1 (1959), 4–22.


Kaufman, Shirley, Galil Hasan-Rokem and Tamar S. Hess, The Defiant Muse: Hebrew Feminist Poems From Antiquity to the Present: A Bilingual Anthology (New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1999). (With introductory overview of the history of Hebrew poetry by women.)


Kay, Devra, ‘An Alternative Prayer Canon for Women: The Yiddish “Seyder tkhines” ’, in Julius Carlebach (ed.), Zur Geschichte der juedischen Frau in Deutschland (Berlin: Metropol Verlag, 1993), 49–96.


—— ‘Words for God in Seventeenth Century Women’s Poetry in Yiddish,’ in Dovid Katz (ed.), Dialects of the Yiddish Language: Papers from the Second Annual Oxford Winter Symposium in Yiddish Language and Literature, December 1986 (Oxford: Pergamon, 1988), 57-67.


Kaye/Kantrowitz, Melanie and Irena Klepfisz (eds.), The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women’s Anthology (Boston: Beacon, 1989).


Kayserling, M(eyer), Die Jüdischen Frauen in der Geschichte, Literatur, und Kunst [‘The Jewish woman in history, literature, and art’) (Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus, 1879).


Klirs, Tracy Guren, The Merit of Our Mothers: A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, trans. Tracy Guren Klirs, Ida Cohen Selavan, and Gella Schweid Fishman (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 1992). Annotated by Faedra Lazar Weiss and Barbara Selya.

[Compilation of tkhines in Yiddish and English.]


Koestler, Nora, ‘Jüdinnen in der Habsburger Monarchie und Emanzipation’ (‘The Jewish woman in the Habsburg monarchy and emancipation’), Acta Poloniae Historica, 86 (2002), 57–72.


—— ‘Kobieta w społecznościach żydowskich w monarchii habsburskiej: etapy emancypacji’ (‘The woman in Jewish communities in the Habsburg monarchy: stages of emancipation’), in Anna Żarnowska and Andrzej Szwarc (eds.), Kobieta i świat polityki: Polska na tle porównawczym w XIX i w początkach XX wieku (‘Women and the world of politics: Poland against a comparative background in the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries’) (Warsaw: Instytut Historyczny Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 1994), 135-148.


Korman, E(zra) (ed.), Yidishe Dikhterins: Antologye (‘Yiddish women poets: anthology’) (Chicago: Farlag L.M. Shtayn, 1928).


Kozlowska, Teresa, ‘Rodzina żydowska w swietle akt notarialnych powiatu skalbmierskiego z lat 1817–1835’ (‘The Jewish family in light of notarial records of Skalbmierz district from 1817–1835), Kwartalnik Historii Żydów (formerly Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego), 202 (2002), 227–32.


Kraemer, David (ed.), The Jewish Family: Metaphor and Memory (New York: Oxford University, 1989).

[See also individual articles listed by author.]


Kramer, Sydelle and Jenny Masur (eds.), Jewish Grandmothers (Boston: Beacon, 1976).

[Three interviews in the first section portray the lives of three Jewish women in eastern Europe in the early twentieth century.]


Kugelmass, Jack and Jonathan Boyarin (eds.), From a Ruined Garden: The Memorial Books of Polish Jewry (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1998), 2nd expanded edition. See ‘Girls’ Kheyders’, ‘Esther-Khaye the Zogerin (‘Sayer’)’, ‘Reb Dvoyre Mash’ and ‘My Grandmother Sews Her Own Burial Shroud’.


Kumove, Shirley, ‘Drunk From the Bitter Truth: The Life, Times and Poetry of Anna Margolin’, in Sarah Silberstein Swartz and Margie Wolfe (eds.), From Memory to Transformation: Jewish Women’s Voices (Toronto: Second Story Press, 1998), 35–48.


Lerner, Anne Lapidus, ‘Lost Childhood in East European Hebrew Literature’, in David Kraemer (ed.), The Jewish Family: Metaphor and Memory (New York: Oxford University, 1989), 95–112.


Levy, Robert, Ana Pauker: The Rise and Fall of a Jewish Communist (Berkeley: University of California, 2001).

[Biography of a post-Second World War leader of Romania’s Communist Party.]


Lieblich, Amia, Conversations with Dvora: An Experimental Biography of the First Modern Hebrew Woman Writer, trans. Naomi Seidman, eds. Chana Kronfeld and Naomi Seidman (Berkeley: University of California, 1991).


Lowenstein, Steven M., ‘Ashkenazic Jewry and the European Marriage Pattern: A Preliminary Survey of Jewish Marriage Age’, Jewish History, 8 (1994), 155–75.


Magnus, Shulamit S., ‘Pauline Wengeroff and the Voice of Jewish Modernity’, in T. M. Rudavsky (ed.), Gender and Judaism: The Transformation of Tradition (New York: New York University, 1995), 181–90.


Miron, Dan, Imahot meyasdot, ahayot horgot (‘Founding mothers, stepsisters’) (Tel Aviv: ha-kibuts ha-me’uhad, 1991).

[Examines the emergence of women’s poetry in Hebrew.]


—— ‘Why Was There No Women’s Poetry in Hebrew before 1920?’ in Naomi B. Sokoloff, et al. (eds.), Gender and Text in Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Cambridge: Harvard University, 1992), 65–91.


National Council of Jewish Women, New York Section, Di froyen: Women and Yiddish. Tribute to the Past, Directions for the Future, Conference Proceedings (New York: Jewish Women’s Resource Center, 1997). See, especially, Chava Weissler, ‘Contrasting Views of Women as Religious Subjects in the tkhines of Leah Horowitz and Sarah bas Toyvim’, 11-16; Ellie Kellman, ‘Women as Readers of Sacred and Secular [Yiddish] Literature: An Historical Overview’, 18-21; Sheva Zucker, ‘The Fathers on the Mothers and the Daughters: Women in the Works of the klasikers/Classical Writers’, 26-31; Paula E. Hyman, ‘Memoirs and Memories: East European Jewish Women Recount Their Lives’, 49-52; Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild, ‘Esther Frumkin: Jewish Women Radical in Early Soviet Russia’, 58-63; Rozka Luksamberg Aleksandrowicz, ‘YAF and Women in the Bund’, 63-65; Dina Abramowicz, ‘Forsherin: Women Scholars at YIVO’, 65-67; Ethel Raicus, ‘Rokhl Brokhes’, 82-85.


Niger, Shmuel, ‘Di yidishe literatur un di lezerin’, Der pinkes, Vilna, 1913; reprinted in Shmuel Niger, Bleter geshikhte fun der yidisher literatur (‘Studies in the history of Yiddish literature’) (New York: Sh. Niger Book Committee of the World Jewish Cultural Congress, 1959), 35-107. In English: Trans. Sheva Zucker, ‘Yiddish Literature and the Female Reader’, in Judith R. Baskin (ed.), Women of the Word: Jewish Women and Jewish Writing (Detroit: Wayne State University, 1994), 70–90.


Norich, Anita, ‘The Family Singer and the Autobiographical Imagination’, Prooftexts, 10 (January, 1990), 91–107.


Parush, Iris, Nashim kor’ot: Yitronah shel shuliyut ba-hevrah ha-yehudit be-mizrah eropah ba-me’ah ha-tesha esray (‘Reading women: The benefit of marginality in nineteenth century eastern European Jewish society’) (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2001). Translated into English under the same title (Hanover: University Press of New England for Brandeis University Press, forthcoming).


—— ‘The Politics of Literacy: Women and Foreign Languages in Jewish Society of 19th-Century Eastern Europe’, Modern Judaism, 15.2 (1995), 183–206.


—— ‘Readers in Cameo: Women Readers in Jewish Society of Nineteenth-Century Eastern Europe’, Prooftexts, 14.1 (1994), 1–23.


—— ‘Women Readers as Agents of Social Change Among Eastern European Jews in the Late Nineteenth Century’, Gender & History, 9.1 (1997), 60–82.


Plakans, Andrejs and Joel M. Halpern, ‘An Historical Perspective on Eighteenth Century Jewish Family Households in Eastern Europe’, in Paul Ritterband (ed.), Modern Jewish Fertility (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1981), 18–32.


Pratt, Norma Fain, ‘Culture and Radical Politics: Yiddish Women Writers, 1890-1940’, American Jewish History, 70.1 (1980), 68–91.


—— ‘Anna Margolin’s “Lider”: A Study in Women’s History, Autobiography, and Poetry’, Studies in American Jewish Literature, 3 (1983), 11–25.


Rabinowicz, Harry M., ‘Lady Rabbis and Rabbinic Daughters’, in The World of Hasidism (Hartford: Hartmore House, 1970), 202–210.


Raicus, Ethel, ‘Women’s Voices in the Stories of Yiddish Writer Rokhl Brokhes’, in Sarah Silberstein Swartz and Margie Wolfe (eds.), From Memory to Transformation: Jewish Women’s Voices (Toronto: Second Story Press, 1998), 25–34.


Rakovsky (Rakowska), Puah. Di moderne froyen-bavegung (‘The modern women’s movement’) (Warsaw: Yidisher Froyen-Farband in Poylin, 1928).

[Not seen. Located at the Jewish National and University Library, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.]


—— Di yidishe froy: 1. Di yidishe froy un di tsyonistishe bavegung, 2. Far vos darfn mir a spetsiele froyen-organizatsye (‘The Jewish woman: 1. The Jewish woman and the Zionist movement, 2. Why we need a special women’s organization’) (Warsaw: Bnos Tsiyon, 1918).

[Not seen. Located at the Jewish National and University Library, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.]


Ransel, David L., ‘The Ethno-Cultural Impact on Childbirth and Disease among Women in Western Russia’, Jews in Eastern Europe, 2 [45] (2001), 27–47.


Rapoport-Albert, Ada, ‘On Women in Hasidism: S.A. Horodecky and the Maid of Ludmir Tradition’, Ada Rapoport-Albert and Steven J. Zipperstein (eds.), Jewish History: Essays in Honour of Chimen Abramsky (London: Peter Halban, 1988), 495–525.


Reinharz, Shulamit, ‘Manya Wilbushewitz-Shohat and the Winding Road to Sejera’, in Deborah S. Bernstein (ed.), Pioneers and Homemakers: Jewish Women in Pre-State Israel (Albany: State University of New York, 1992), 95–118.


—— ‘Toward a Model of Female Political Action: The Case of Manya Shohat, Founder of the First Kibbutz’, Women’s Studies International Forum, 7.4 (1984), 275–87.


Roskies, David, ‘Yiddish Popular Literature and the Female Reader’, Journal of Popular Culture, 10.4 (1977), 852–8.


Rubinraut, H., Yidishe froy, dervakh! Vi azoy zikh tsu farhitn fun umgevunshener shvangershaft (‘Jewish woman, awake! How to avoid unwanted pregnancy’) (Warsaw: Towarzystwo Ochrony Zdrowia, 1934).

[Not seen. Located at the Jewish National and University Library, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.]


Ruthers, Monica, Tewjes Töchter. Lebensentwürfe ostjüdischer Frauen im 19. Jahrhundert (‘Tevye’s daughters: Lives of eastern European Jewish women in the nineteenth century’) (Cologne: Böhlau, 1996).


Salkind, S., ‘The Jewish Women of Latvia; Their Progress in Social Work’, Jewish Woman, 3.1 (1923), 2–3.

[Periodical published until 1931 in New York.]


Salmon, Tamar, ‘Mad Women and Divorce among Polish Jews in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’ (in Hebrew), Gal-Ed, 7 (2000), 37-61. [Summary in English.]


Salzman (Zalcman), Mojshe, Bela Shapiro: Di populere froyen-geshtalt (‘Bela Shapiro: the popular women’s figure’) (Paris, 1983). In French: Trans. Irene Kanfer, Bela Szpiro: Militante socialiste du Bund a Lublin (1890–1944) (Quimperlé: La Digitale, 1988). Preface by Marc Hillel.


Seeman, Don and Rebecca Kobrin, ‘ “Like One of the Whole Men”: Learning, Gender and Autobiography in R. Barukh Epstein’s “Mekor Barukh”,’ Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Issues, 2 (1999), 52–94.


Seidman, Naomi, ‘Gender criticism and Hebrew-Yiddish Literature: A Report From the Field’, Prooftexts, 14.3 (1994), 298–310.


—— ‘Lawless Attachments, One-night Stands: The Sexual Politics of the Hebrew-Yiddish Language War’, in Jonathan Boyarin and Daniel Boyarin (eds.), Jews and Other Differences: The New Jewish Cultural Studies (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1997), 279–305.


—— A Marriage Made in Heaven: The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and Yiddish (Berkeley: University of California, 1997).


Shepherd, Naomi, A Price Below Rubies: Jewish Women as Rebels and Radicals (Cambridge: Harvard University, 1993).


Sherman, Joseph, ‘Money, Revolution and Women in Russia and America in Pre-World War I Yiddish Prose Fiction’, Jews in Eastern Europe, 1–2 [47–48] (2002), 125–33.


Shmeruk, Chone, ‘Di mizrekh-eyropeishe nuskhoes fun der Tsenerene (1786–1850)’ (‘The East European versions of the tsenerene’), in For Max Weinreich on his Seventieth Birthday: Studies in Jewish Languages, Literature and Society (The Hague: Mouton, 1964), 320–36. Translated into Hebrew as ‘Ha-nusahot ha-mizrah eyropeyot shel ha-‘tse’enah u-re-enah’, in C. Shmeruk (ed.), Sifrut yidish be-polin (Jerusalem: Hotsa’at Sefarim a. sh. Y.L. Magnes, Hebrew University, 1981), 147–64.


—— The Esterke Story in Yiddish and Polish Literature. A Case Study in the Mutual Relations of Two Cultural Traditions (Jerusalem: Zalman Shazar Center for the Furtherance of the Study of Jewish History, 1985).


—— “Ha-soferet ha-yehudit ha-rishonah be-polin: Rivkah bat Meir Tiktiner ve-hiburiah’ (‘The first Jewish woman author in Poland : Rivkah bat Meir Tiktiner and her work’), in Me’ir Vunder (ed.), Ateret Rivkah: Arba’ah sifre tehinot nashim: im targum li-leshon ha-kodesh; Meneket Rivkah (‘Crown of Rivkah: four books of tehines of women: with translation into Hebrew [from Yiddish]; Meneket Rivkah’) (Jerusalem: Ha-Makhon le-hantsahat Yahadut Galitsyah, 1991-1992), 148–60.


Sinclair, Clive, The Brothers Singer (London: Allison and Busby, 1983).

[Includes information on Esther Kreitman Singer.]


Sion, Ariel, ‘L’éducation des jeunes filles ą Lodz (Pologne) entre 1919 et 1939’ (‘The education of the young girls in Lódz [Poland] between 1919 and 1939’) Cahiers d’Etudes Juives, 2 (1991), 75–107.


Sokoloff, Naomi B., ‘Gender Studies and Modern Hebrew Literature’ (annotated bibliography), in Gender and Text in Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Cambridge: Harvard University, 1992), 257–63.


Sokoloff, Naomi, Ann Lapidus Lerner, and Anita Norich (eds.), Gender and Text in Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Cambridge: Harvard University, 1992).

[See also individual articles listed in this volume.]


Somogyi, Tamar, ‘Jüdische Hochzeitsbrauche in Osteuropa im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert’ (‘Jewish marriage customs in eastern Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries’), in Gisela Völger and Karin von Welck (eds.), Die Braut. geliebt, verkauft, getäuscht. Zur Rolle der Frau im Kulturvergleich (‘The bride, loved, sold, deceived: On the role of the woman in cultural comparison’), vol. 1 (Cologne: Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Museum fur Volkerkunde, 1985), 172–9.

[Not seen.]


Stampfer, Shaul, ‘Gender Differentiation and Education of the Jewish Woman in Nineteenth-Century Eastern Europe’, Polin, 7 (1992), 63–87.


—— ‘Marital Patterns in Interwar Poland’, Yisrael Gutman, Ezra Mendelsohn, Jehuda Reinharz, and Chone Shmeruk (eds.), Jews of Poland between Two World Wars (Hanover: University Press of New England, 1989), 173–97.


—— ‘Remarriage Among Jews and Christians in Nineteenth-Century Eastern Europe’, Jewish History, 3.2 (Fall 1988), 85–114.


Strobl, Ingrid, ‘Family Origins and Political Motivations of Jewish Resistance Fighters in German-Occupied Europe’, in Judith Tydor Baumel and Tova Cohen (eds.), Gender, Place and Memory in the Modern Jewish Experience: Re-placing Ourselves (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2003), 67-77.


Suchmiel, Jadwiga, ‘Kariery naukowe Żydówek na Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim do czasów Drugiej Rzeczypospolitej’ (‘The academic careers of Jewish women at Jagiellonian University [Kraków] until the time of the Second Republic’), in Aleksandra Bilewicz and Stefania Walasek (eds.), Rola mniejszości narodowych w kulturze i oświacie polskiej w latach 1700-1939 (‘The role of national minorities in Polish culture and education from 1700-1939’) (Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, 1998), 151–9. With summary in German.


—— Żydówki ze stopniem doktora wszech nauk lekarskich oraz doktora filozofii w Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim do czasów Drugiej Rzeczypospolitej (‘Jewish women with the degree of doctor of medicine as well as doctor of philosophy at Jagiellonian University until the time of the Second Republic’) (Częstochowa: Wydawnictwo WSP, 1997).


Suliteanu, Gisela, ‘The Traditional System of Melopeic Prose of the Funeral Songs Recited by the Jewish Women of the Socialist Republic of Rumania’, Folklore Research Center Studies, 3 (1972), 291–349.


Taitz, Emily, ‘Kol Ishah, the Voice of Women: Where Was it Heard in Medieval Europe?’ Conservative Judaism, 38.3 (1986), 46–61.


—— ‘Women’s Voices, Women’s Prayers: Women in the European Synagogues of the Middle Ages’, in Susan Grossman and Rivka Haut (eds.), Daughters of the King: Women and the Synagogue. A Survey of History, Halakhah and Contemporary Realities (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1992), 59–71.


Tiktiner, Rivkah bat Me’ir, Ateret Rivkah: Arba’ah sifre tehinot nashim: im targum li-leshon ha-kodesh; Meneket Rivkah (‘Crown of Rivkah: Four books of tekhines of women: with translation into Hebrew [from Yiddish]; Meneket Rivkah’), ed. Me’ir Vunder (Jerusalem: ha-Makhon le-hantsahat Yahadut Galitsyah, 1991-1992). Includes reprint of Rivkah bat Me’ir Tiktiner, Meneket Rivkah (Prague, 1609).


Tzur, Eli, ‘The Forgotten Leadership: Women Leaders of the Hashomer Hatzair Youth Movement at Times of Crisis’, in Judith Tydor Baumel and Tova Cohen (eds.), Gender, Place and Memory in the Modern Jewish Experience: Re-placing Ourselves (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2003), 51–66.


Umińska, Bożena, Postać z cieniem: Portrety Żydówek w polskiej literaturze od końca XIX wieku do 1939 roku (‘A figure with a shadow: Portraits of Jewish women in Polish literature from the end of the nineteenth century to 1939’) (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Sic!, 2001).


Weinberg, Sydney Stahl, World of Our Mothers: The Lives of Jewish Immigrant Women (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1988).


Weissler, Chava, ‘ “For the Human Soul is the Lamp of the Lord”: The Tkhine for “Laying Wicks” by Sarah bas Tovim’, Polin, 10 (1997), 40–65.


—— ‘ “For Women and for Men who are Like Women”: The Construction of Gender in Yiddish Devotional Literature’, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 5.2 (1989), 7–24.


—— ‘ “Mitzvot” Built Into the Body: Tkhines for Niddah, Pregnancy and Childbirth’, in Howard Eilberg-Schwartz (ed.),  People of the Body: Jews and Judaism from an Embodied Perspective (Albany: State University of New York, 1992), 101–115.


—— ‘Prayers in Yiddish and the Religious World of Ashkenazic Women’, in Judith R. Baskin (ed.), Jewish Women in Historical Perspective (Detroit: Wayne State University, 1998), 159–81.


—— ‘The Religion of Traditional Ashkenazic Women: Some Methodological Issues’, Association for Jewish Studies Review, 12.1 (1987), 73–94.


—— ‘Tkhines for the Sabbath Before the New Moon’, in Judit Targarona Borrás and Angel Sáenz-Badillos (eds.), Jewish Studies at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: Proceedings of the 6th EAJS Congress, vol. 2 (Leiden: Brill, 1999), 406–412.


—— ‘The Tkhines and Women’s Prayer’, CCAR Journal (Central Conference of American Rabbis Journal of Reform Judaism), 40.4 (1993), 75–88.


—— ‘The Traditional Piety of Ashkenazic Women’, in Arthur Green (ed.), Jewish Spirituality, vol. 2 (New York: Crossroad, 1987), 245–75.


—— Voices of the Matriarchs: Listening to the Prayers of Early Modern Jewish Women (Boston: Beacon, 1998).


—— ‘Woman as High Priest: A Kabbalistic Prayer in Yiddish for Lighting Sabbath Candles’, Jewish History, 5.1 (1991), 9–26


—— ‘Women in Paradise’, Tikkun, 2.2 (1987), 43–6.


—— ‘Women’s Studies and Women’s Prayers: Reconstructing the Religious History of Ashkenazic Women’, Jewish Social Studies, 1.2 (1995), 28–47.


Weissman, Deborah, ‘Bais Yaakov: A Historical Model for Jewish Feminists’, in Elizabeth Koltun (ed.), The Jewish Woman: New Perspectives (New York: Schocken, 1976), 139–48.


—— ‘Bais Ya’akov as an innovation in Jewish women’s education: A contribution to the study of education and social change’, Studies in Jewish Education, 7 (1995), 278–99.


—— ‘Education of Jewish Women’, Encyclopedia Judaica Year Book, 1986–1987, 29-36.


Wistrich, Robert (ed.), Revolutionary Jews from Marx to Trotsky (London: Harrap, 1976). See chapter ‘Rosa Luxemburg the Internationalist’, 76-92.


YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Ida Kaminska (1899–1980): Grande Dame of the Yiddish Theater (New York: YIVO, 2001).


Zaremska, Hanna, ‘Rachela Fiszel: żydowska wdowa w średniowiecznym krakowie’ (‘Rachela Fiszel: a Jewish widow in Krakow in the Middle Ages’), Kwartalnik Historii Żydów (formerly Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego), 207 (2003), 381-390.


Zitron, Samuel Leib, Barimte yidishe froyen: zeyer lebn un virkn (‘Notable Jewish women: Their life and works’) (Warsaw: Ahisefer, 1928).

[Includes brief biographies of several women from eastern Europe: Chava Frank; Chaya Voloski; Dinah Val; and Chana-Rachel Werbermacher, the ‘Maid of Ludmir’.]


[HEADING] Dissertations and Master’s Theses

Adler, Eliyana R., ‘Private Schools for Jewish Girls in Tsarist Russia’, Ph.D. thesis (Brandeis University, 2003).


Atkin, Abraham, ‘The Beth Jacob Movement in Poland (1917–1939)’, Ph.D. thesis (Yeshiva University, 1959).


Balin, Carole B., ‘Jewish Women Writers in Tsarist Russia, 1869–1917’ (Miriam Markel-Mosessohn, Hava Shapiro, Rashel Khin, Feiga Kogan, Sofiia Dubnova-Erlikh), Ph.D. thesis (Columbia University, 1998).


Caruso, Naomi, ‘Chava Shapiro: A Woman Before Her Time’, M.A. thesis (McGill University, 1991).


Freeze, ChaeRan Y., ‘Making and Unmaking the Jewish Family: Marriage and Divorce in Imperial Russia, 1850–1914’, Ph.D. thesis (Brandeis University, 1997).


Glaser, Karen Melissa, ‘Female Émigrés  from the ‘Shtetl’ and their Interpretations of the Past: An Oral History’, M.A. thesis (University of Windsor, 1990).


Gonshor (Fishman), Anna, ‘Kadye Molodowsky in Literarishe bleter, 1925–1935: Annotated Bibliography’, M.A. thesis (McGill University, 1997).


Kaufman, Marianna B., ‘Two Women of the Zionist Socialist Youth Organizations: Warsaw, 1939–1943’ (Frumka Plotnitzka, Lonka Kozibrodska), M.A. thesis (Emory University, 2000).


Klirs, Tracy Guren, ‘Bizkhus fun Sore, Rivke, Rokhl un Leye: Through the Merit of Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah: The Tkhine as the Jewish Woman’s Self-Expression’, Ph.D. thesis (Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, 1984).


Kolodziej, Joyce Story, ‘Eliza Orzeszkowa’s Feminist and Jewish Works in Polish and Russian Criticism’, Ph.D. thesis (Indiana University, 1975).


Levy, Robert, ‘Ana Pauker: A Case Study of Jewish Communists in East-Central Europe’, Ph.D. thesis (University of California, Los Angeles: 1998).


Litwin-Grinberg, Ruth R., ‘Lives in Retrospect: A Qualitative Analysis of Oral Reminiscence as Applied to Elderly Jewish Women’, D.S.W. thesis (University of California, Berkeley, 1982).


Ricar, Sondra Lee, ‘A Portrait of Russian Revolutionary Women’, Ph.D. thesis (University of California, Santa Cruz, 1995).


Rubin, Ruth, ‘Jewish Women and her Yiddish Folksong’, Ph.D. thesis (Union Graduate School, 1976).


Scott, Mark Chapin, ‘Her Brother’s Keeper: The Evolution of Women Bolsheviks’, Ph.D. thesis (University of Kansas, 1980).


Seidman, Naomi Sheindel, ‘ “A Marriage Made in Heaven”? The Sexual Politics of Hebrew-Yiddish Diglossia’ (Mendele Abramovitsh, Sholem Yankev, Dvora Baron), Ph.D. thesis (University of California, Berkeley, 1993).


Weissman, Deborah, ‘Bais Ya’akov, A Women’s Educational Movement in the Polish Jewish Community: A Case Study in Tradition and Modernity’, M.A. thesis (New York University, 1984).


Zaidin, Nurit, ‘Ha-haverah ba-tenu’ot ha-no’ar ha-tsiyoniyot be-polin ben shete milhamot ‘olam’ (‘The woman member in Zionist youth movements in Poland between two world wars’), Ph.D. thesis (Universitat Ben-Gurion ba-Negev, 2000). Abstract in English.


Zucker, Charlotte Sheva, ‘The Emergence of the Modern Woman in Yiddish and Western Literature’, Ph.D. thesis (City University of New York, 1987).